Bongani Mathebula, the suspended company secretary of the embattled Public Investment Corporation (PIC), was summoned to a disciplinary hearing this week for allegedly leaking information.
Mathebula was one of six senior officials at the PIC personally investigated by the company’s CEO, Dan Matjila, last year, following claims that Matjila had caused PIC money to be indirectly paid to his alleged girlfriend.
“It is alleged that you breached your duty of good faith and confidentiality as an employee and in your position as company secretary of the Public Investment Corporation ... in that you caused the distribution and/or copying of confidential PIC information,” reads a letter sent to Mathebula last month.
The disciplinary hearing was set down for two days this week – Tuesday and Friday – and will resume next month.
When City Press contacted Mathebula, she replied with a message saying “no comment”.
The PIC’s spokesperson, Sekgoela Sekgoela, said that “as a general rule, the PIC is not in a position to comment until the matter reaches its logical conclusion, to maintain and protect the integrity of the disciplinary process”.
City Press understands that Mathebula is being disciplined for allegedly sharing the unadulterated minutes of a PIC board meeting held on 29 September last year, but the PIC would not confirm this.
Documents now in the public domain, because of United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa’s July court application to have Matjila suspended, show how these minutes were edited to remove criticisms of Matjila.
Among the paragraphs removed were ones that declared Matjila’s conduct had endangered the PIC’s reputation and could not be condoned.
The real minutes cropped up in previous disciplinary hearings related to the Matjila saga, and Mathebula is alleged to have been the source, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.
Mathebula was one of the senior PIC executives targeted by Matjila in his attempt to track down the source of a now-infamous whistle-blower email sent to the entire PIC board on September 5 last year under the pseudonym James Nogu.
This was the email alleging that Matjila had caused PIC money to flow, indirectly, to businesswoman Pretty Louw, who was further alleged to be his romantic partner.
This and other allegations against top PIC executives are now being investigated by police, while there is also a Treasury-ordered forensic investigation going on and a separate commission of inquiry into the PIC in the works.
City Press has previously reported on a letter, signed by Matjila in October last year, asking email management company Mimecast’s Cape Town office to make available the email servers of six executives.