PRETORIA – The board of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) was effectively sent packing by the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, who the board to resign on Friday or be fired on Monday.
This was revealed in PIC director Dudu Hlatshwayo’s testimony when she appeared before the PIC Commission of Inquiry where she stated that during the in-camera meeting of the Board on Friday February 1, Gungubele left the boardroom to take a call from the Minister of Finance.
“On coming back, he indicated that he was about to tell the Board something significant, which was going to change everything.
“This is when he told the Board that the Minister wanted the whole Board to resign immediately, failing which, the Board would be fired by Monday, 4 February 2019. Minister was going to appoint the new Board by the following week.
“Shocked and confused, I personally asked if that would not be taken as our admission of guilt. The answer was: ‘You resign today or face being fired on Monday’,” said Hlatshwayo.
She said the mood in the room was one of indignation and basically people saying maybe it is for the better that they all left “this place” (PIC).
“I personally had to weigh the weight of being fired by Monday vis a vis resigning with the rest of the Board and salvaging my dignity. At this point, Ms (Sibusisiwe) Zulu came up with this wonderful idea of resigning en-masse. She quickly and flawlessly dictated the letter of resignation to Company Secretary and after having been proof-read by everyone, the letter was signed by all directors,” said Hlatshwayo.
She said on Monday, February 4, Minister Mboweni had not responded to the directors’ letter of resignation nor had he appointed the new Board and yet all Committee meetings were being cancelled.
“Concerned, I wrote an email to the chairman requesting clarity with regard to the Board retaining responsibility and accountability during the time when the authority of the Board was being removed. I challenged this notion and pointed out the contradiction in it in my email dated February 4, to the chairman of the Board.
“The following day, the chairman wrote a letter to the Board and clarified the matter and instructed that all meetings be reinstated. The only meeting that was never re-instated was a special committee meeting that needed to preside over the finalisation of the Karan Beef Transaction. Two days later, the Board received a letter from the Minister to the same effect,” said Hlatshwayo.
Right now, the Board is in the so-called “Business as usual” era pending the appointment of the new Board by the Minister of Finance, she said.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE