Based on the belief that the comments allegedly made by the chairperson of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Mondli Gungubele, which were widely reported on in mainstream news media, have damaged the reputation of AYO Investments, the company announced its intention to sue the PIC and other entities for damages.
Speaking to Business Report on Wednesday, AYO Technology Solutions chairperson advocate Wallace Mgoqi said that the company had had enough of the allegations made against it in the public domain.
Some of the allegations in question were made during the inquiry into the PIC which was established to investigate whether PIC employees and directors may have used the investment body for personal gain, or to benefit their friends and families.
In the last five months alone, various former and current employees of the PIC testified along with a number of other implicated parties.
According to the former assistant portfolio manager at the PIC, Victor Seanie, Independent Media owner Iqbal Survé and his family hold a major stake in AYO.
Mqoqi asserts that AYO had presented a sound investment case to the PIC and other investors and that the company acted with integrity and had done nothing wrong. He added that most of what was said about it during the inquiry was hearsay that was “baseless and without fact”.
Mgoqi was appointed as one of four directors for AYO by the PIC in November 2018.
“The conduct of the PIC and former executives of AYO who testified at the PIC commission of inquiry has resulted in AYO struggling to conclude transactions and do its business in an unhindered manner. This, in turn, has significantly prejudiced AYO, its employees, customers, shareholders, advisors, and business relationships,” he told the publication.
AYO plans to sue for billions of rands claiming that it equates to the amount of damage done and potential business lost.
“There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that AYO has done anything wrong. On the contrary, the PIC chairperson and officials had in numerous public forums made remarks about AYO based on their own internal processes that have nothing to do with AYO. The conduct of the PIC and the conduct of its officials has resulted in damages to AYO and its businesses to the extent of billions of rands,” added Mgoqi.
He also told the publication that his company would welcome the opportunity to defend itself and that it was confident of the outcome in its favour.