Was Edcon saved to secure votes?

Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) boss Dan Matjila’s allegation — that he was ousted for his resistance to the deal that saved clothes retailer Edcon — has underscored persistent concern over the extent of political jockeying behind the investment decisions of the state-owned asset manager.

In testimony to the Mpati commission, which is looking into claims of impropriety at the PIC, Matjila claimed that at least part of the reason he was removed “was to ensure that the Edcon deal takes place ahead of the election” as outlined in emails between Cosatu official Matthew Parks and former PIC chair Mondli Gungubele.

Dan Matjila, the former chief executive of the Public Investment Corporation, testified at the Mpati commission that he was made to resign because he did not approve of the bailout for Edcon. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

A number of parties implicated in Matjila’s testimony, including Cosatu, the PIC and Edcon have defended the deal.

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