Criminal investigations should be launched as speedily as possible into all those implicated in the Commission of Inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) says Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) President Sipho Pityana.
“The commission did a sterling job in exposing the rot at the PIC, including some of its key beneficiaries. Now we need to see the same quality of work, and the same impact, from the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA),” says Pityana.
“The report released by the President is damning. Investigators and prosecutors need to study the report as a matter of urgency, assess the evidence and act where possible.
“It is essential for the integrity of not only the PIC inquiry but all judicial enquiries that we see speedy action – preferably in the form of criminal charges, where possible – against the people who were at the centre of the looting and abuse of public money and pension fund savings.”
Pityana stressed that action needed to be taken against the PIC office-bearers (past and present) identified in the report, as well as the people and companies who benefited.
“The report is explicit in terms of the wrongdoing on the side of the PIC, and the appalling conduct of some of the people who accessed PIC funds,” he says. “Former PIC CEO Dan Matjila must immediately be investigated by the law enforcement agencies, along with beneficiaries such as Iqbal Surve, Jayendra Naidoo and Marcus Jooste.”
Pityana said organised business will not tolerate corruption – whether by businesspeople or public servants – and insisted that the law be applied without fear or favour.
“The PIC has an extensive shareholder presence in corporate South Africa, and any perception of corruption sets exactly the wrong tone for the desperately needed clean-up of this scourge in the private sector,” he said.
Pityana said BUSA appreciated the steps that had been taken by the new PIC board against some of those implicated in the report, saying: “We expect more heads to roll and a different tone from the PIC. We need to see that the PIC not only continues to clean up its own act, but leverages its extensive shareholding to promote good, ethical and responsible governance in companies where it has a notable shareholding.”
He added: “Judge Lex Mpati, former Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus and financial services sector veteran Chief Emmanuel Lediga have done South Africa a favour by shining a light on the scale of corruption within the PIC. Now we need to see some blue lights in response.”
Sipho Mila Pityana (President)