Pray PIC gatekeeper Matjila survives the hyenas of state capture project

“I've got the keys. They’re looking for the keys to the big safe.” This was the dire warning of Public Investment Corporation CEO Dan Matjila that there are forces trying to remove him as a gatekeeper of the PIC.

This comes after recent allegations emerged that Matjila used PIC funds to finance a project belonging to a girlfriend. It so happens that the allegations emerged from a Gupta-linked website. That triggered a quick response by the PIC board chaired by none other than Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi.

Matjila was hauled in front of the board to answer these allegations.

Despite producing evidence of no wrongdoing on his part, and apparently to the satisfaction of most of the directors of the PIC, Buthelezi and deputy chairman Xolani Mkhwanazi insisted on referring the matter for an internal audit.

It is this persistence that seems to have raised Matjila’s suspicions that a campaign is in full swing to remove him from his position.

“When we’ve presented the adequate evidence and they continue with this, it tells you there’s a plan on the table,” Matjila reportedly said.

Interestingly, reports have also emerged that none other than Dudu Myeni, that politically protected disastrous chair of SAA, approached Matjila about a month ago to request a bailout for SAA to the tune of R6-billion.

This request was refused by Matjila, for obvious reasons – SAA is below investment grade and therefore no investment can be extended to it by any self-respecting funder or investor.

However, it seems the man who has been accused of being a Gupta door opener, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, has other ideas.

The Sunday Times reported that Gigaba told Cosatu he could not guarantee that the government would not use PIC funds to recapitalise state-owned enterprises, including SAA.

It has become common knowledge that any new development that involves the state in South Africa, necessitates a careful look-out for “the dots” and then one must connect them.

It seems Gigaba consistently uses the same strategy at SOEs.

As public enterprises minister, he appointed individuals with close links to the Guptas onto the boards of Eskom, Denel and Transnet.

He is also responsible for appointing Buthelezi and Mkhwa-nazi to the PIC board.

These are the two men whose actions have now raised the very worrisome possibility that the project of state capture has set its eyes on the PIC.

It is becoming very clear that the project of state capture is marching on in spite of all the revelations which are now in the public domain.

The institutions that were designed to safeguard our democracy have been captured in much the same way SOEs have been overrun.

The modus operandi seems to be to first remove ethical leadership in our democratic institutions, then replace it with a leadership of low or non-existent ethics and often low skills.

Often, it is a leadership with close ties to the Zuma-Gupta network.

It is mind-boggling that the National Prosecuting Authority under Shaun Abrahams, with access to tons of evidence of wrongdoing, has not prosecuted anyone. Maybe they should take a page from the PIC board’s book under Buthelezi, which so eagerly responded to allegations raised against Matjila.

Meanwhile, the public protector’s office seems to have gone so far off the script that it allegedly colluded with the presidency and consulted the State Security Agency about tampering with the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank.

An affidavit filed by the South African Reserve Bank before the Pretoria High Court also suggests that Busisiwe Mkhwebane lied about meeting the presidency before releasing her embarrassing report which sought to change the mandate of the SARB.

Who protects the public in the meantime?

The Zuma-Gupta network and its horrendous project of state capture is hell-bent on destroying everything. Everything it touches turns to nought. Ask Bell Pottinger, McKinsey and KPMG among others. These companies are surely cursing the day they entangled themselves with the Zuma-Gupta monster.

The targeting of the PIC, which holds citizens’ pensions, shows that the drivers of the state capture project care not one jot about the wellbeing of South African citizens.

The ANC itself is unable to rein in the monster it has created.

I hope and pray Dan Matjila has a skin thick enough to ward off the unrelenting attacks of these hyenas.

Strong citizen support for him is a must.

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