PIC boss Dan Matjila survives grilling, but battle is not over

PIC boss Dan Matjila survives grilling, but battle is not over

"Following the deliberation by the board on the allegations and representations, the board accepted the representations of the CEO".

The statement read, "Ordinarily, the Board would not publicly disclose the outcomes of its deliberations. Following the meeting, the board expressed its confidence in the ability and integrity of the CEO, Dr Daniel Matjila, management and staff of the PIC", said the PIC in a statement on Friday evening.

Asked what the review is created to achieve if the board has already expressed "full confidence" in Matjila's integrity, PIC spokesman Deon Botha said "the message was that the board had full confidence in the CEO". "However, the Board deems it necessary to break from this tradition, given the heightened interest from the media and other stakeholders", it said.

The board accepted Matjila's explanations after the long-serving executive "provided detailed documentary evidence of the decisions made by the PIC and that the process followed was in accordance with all policies, procedures and delegation of authority of the PIC".

Matjila was reportedly overseas when a letter was sent to him by deputy PIC chairman Xolani Mkhwanazi. The Board takes serious exception to these frivolous allegations that lack truth and substance. The Board wishes to state that it will continue to exercise its fiduciary duties without fear or favour, including accountability to all stakeholders.

The PIC is due to hold a special board meeting on Friday, where it is alleged Matjila will be sacked as head of the biggest investor in the country and replaced with a Gupta appointee. Pretoria-based PIC, which handles pension funds for South African state workers, has nearly 1.9 trillion rand ($145 billion) in assets. "The Board wishes to reiterate that it rejects these allegations with the contempt they deserve".

On Thursday, South Africa's Treasury denied a report in another newspaper that it was about to fire Matjila, although Deputy Finance Minister and PIC chair Sfiso Buthelezi confirmed the board would seek "clarification from him on internal matters" at Friday's meeting.