Tuesday, 07 June 2021

Pretoria: The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) will institute an investigation into allegations of conflict of interest levelled against company secretary, Bongani Mathebula.

At the weekend, the Sunday Times alleged that Mathebula had links to a law firm that was investigating possible wrongdoing at the PIC’s Daybreak poultry farm.

The PIC in a statement on Monday said while it was aware that Mathebula had been given an opportunity to respond to the allegations, the corporation would further probe the claims to satisfy itself that there was no wrongdoing.

“For its part, the PIC requested Ms Mathebula to respond particularly to the allegation that she is a relative to a director of and is a partner in a law firm which provides services to Daybreak, a company in which the PIC has 100% control on behalf of its clients,” the PIC said.

Mathebula, according to the statement, has assured the PIC that she is not a relative and has no relationship, personal or business, with Ntiyiso Mathebula of MNA Attorneys – apparently the predecessor to PJM Attorneys.

“Ms Mathebula states that during her precautionary suspension she was approached by Mr Pule Malahlela with an opportunity to join his new law firm, PJM Attorneys (PJM).

“She accepted the approach and got registered as an Associate of PJM Attorneys with the intention to enter into a partnership as one of the Directors of PJM. However, when she was reinstated as Company Secretary of the PIC, she informed Mr Malahlela that she could no longer pursue the envisaged partnership,” said the Corporation.

The PIC said, according to Mathebula, she only became aware that she was still registered as an associate with PJM Attorneys and that the company had since changed its name to MNA, when the Sunday Times brought it to her attention.

In relation to the appointment of board members to investee companies, the PIC said it needed to be stated that the appointment followed a due process, which culminates in the Directors Affairs Committee (DAC) of the PIC approving the candidates.

The DAC is chaired by the chairperson of the PIC board.