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By Tebogo Tshwane

Moneyweb: Journalist

Ayo transaction claims second casualty as PIC executive dismissed

As the public awaits the release of the PIC commission’s report, two PIC employees linked to the Ayo deal have already been suspended.

Over a year since he was suspended, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has dismissed the executive head of listed investments Fidelis Madavo for gross misconduct in the controversial R4.3 billion transaction involving Ayo Technology Solutions.

Madavo was suspended a day after the PIC commission began its public hearings on January 22, 2019.

He was due to give testimony that morning when he was issued with a suspension letter after the findings of a preliminary report given to the board a day before found that Madavo and portfolio manager Victor Seanie disregarded governance and approval processes related to the transaction.

Gross misconduct

“Upon receipt of the preliminary report, the PIC instituted a disciplinary process against Mr Madavo, which was chaired by an independent chairman who is also a senior counsel,” the PIC said in a statement.

“After representations from both the PIC and Mr Madavo, the chairman recommended that Mr Madavo be relieved of his duties on the basis of gross misconduct.”

Giving testimony before the commission, Madavo denied any direct involvement in the transaction, stating that he had been overseas when the transaction took place.

Seanie, the first casualty in the Ayo saga, was dismissed in October 2019. He had been the most junior person on the Ayo investment team.

The PIC board has welcomed Madovo’s dismissal saying it “regards this as an important step towards efforts to restore ethical behaviour and good corporate governance”.

Several other executives, including former PIC chief executive Dan Matjila and suspended chief financial officer Matshepo More, have also been implicated in the Ayo deal.

The developments come as the public awaits the publication of the commission’s report, which is sitting with President Cyril Ramaphosa. The report is expected to have made findings with regards to the Ayo transaction and other questionable deals that were brought before the commission.

In his State of the Nation Address on February 13 Ramaphosa said he would make the report available in “a few days”.

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