On Tuesday, businessman and head of Sekunjalo Investments – the parent company of Independent Media – Dr Iqbal Survé made various racially charged statements about the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) while speaking during the first day of his testimony at the judicial commission of inquiry into state-run asset manager PIC.
Survé was called to testify after two of the PIC’s investments that came under scrutiny were found to have been linked to companies he is involved with.
One such investment is the irregular R4.3 billion injected into Ayo Technology Solutions – a deal whose subscription agreement approving the investment was signed for by former chief executive Dan Matjila.
The success of the deal was also attributed to an alleged friendship between Matjila and Survé.
In his testimony, Survé insisted that he and Matjila are merely business associates, not friends.
He went on to state that he counted Matjila among his business associates because he did not “have the networks of the white community” – networks he believes white men formed when they were conscripted into the army before and during apartheid.
Survé also stated his view that these men went on to become captains of industry and directors for the country’s biggest companies.
The Sekunjalo head also stated that it was because of this network that his businesses “are not enslaved to any white businesses, banks, and institutions”.
Earlier, Survé labelled the PIC’s investment strategy racist, stating that it favoured white-owned and controlled companies at the expense of firms started and managed by black entrepreneurs – himself included.
“I venture to suggest that companies started by black entrepreneurs, that are black-owned and black-managed with black beneficiaries, do not have more than a few R100 billion of the total market capitalisation of R12 trillion of the JSE, thus it is well recognised that 25 years into democracy, the capital markets in South Africa have not transformed,” said Survé.
Survé’s testimony continues: