By SIZWE DLAMINI
Dr Wallace Mgoqi, Chairman of AYO. Picture: Ian Landsberg, ANA.

THE SEKUNJALO Group’s presentation to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance (SCoF) on Wednesday sought to correct the enduring misrepresentations raised at the Commission of Inquiry into alleged impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and contained in the subsequent report.

Sekunjalo noted that errors in the report, with regard to the companies highlighted in the report on several occasions, had subsequently been conveyed and perpetuated by the media. Sekunjalo chairperson Dr Iqbal Survé said: “These factual mistakes are material and have caused untold harm in terms of reputation loss for all the companies concerned. They have also led to a drastic decline in the share value of some of the listed entities that have been caught in the consequent crossfire.”

The presentation addressed and countered several specific points raised in the report, particularly the unfortunate reference to “the malfeasance of the Sekunjalo Group”. Sekunjalo refuted all claims of any unlawful wrongdoing and pointed out that the Mpati report did not offer any evidence of any malfeasance within the Sekunjalo Group.

The use of the word seemed somewhat peculiar and unnecessarily harsh given that there are no actual adverse findings against Sekunjalo. Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo, who represented the National Treasury, was encouraged that the Mpati commission had made no adverse findings against Sekunjalo.

Sekunjalo presented in its capacity as an investor in Ayo Technology Solutions (AYO), Independent Media, Sagarmatha, and Premier Fishing and Brands, and was joined by Dr Wallace Mgoqi, chairperson of AYO, and Takudzwa Hove, chief operating officer of Independent Media.

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The PIC Commission of Inquiry was established specifically to lift the corporate veil on the PIC’s policies and procedures. However, Sekunjalo noted that four out of 11 companies that were investigated were companies linked to the Sekunjalo Group. No adverse findings in relation to these companies were made.

“It appears that there was a deliberate attempt to tarnish the reputation of the Sekunjalo Group and its investee companies. The commission was used to achieve this.

“It is clear that the detractors of the Sekunjalo Group, working with competitor media companies, selectively quoted parts of the Mpati Commission Report to portray a negative image, in line with the narrative that they have been driving.”

Sekunjalo said it prided itself on maintaining the highest levels of integrity.

“Our ability to comply with good corporate governance standards should not be questioned simply because we are a highly transformed group of companies.”

The Sekunjalo Group is accountable to its relevant stakeholders including shareholders and its employees as well as regulatory bodies. – Investigations Unit