Development Manager in the property division at PIC, Alvin Schiel, told the Commission of Inquiry that there is a culture of fear and victimisation of staff at the fund manager. He says it is better to stay below the radar and do as you are told or else you will get purged at all costs.
Schiel says regardless of the level, whether the lowest rank staff member or an executive, you have to toe the line or you will find yourself out of employment.
Schiel says at times bonuses are used as a tool to manage staff compliance. He says the sword is always above your head ready to fall anytime. He further says no one trusts the whistle blowing hotline as there are little to no significant audit findings despite many knowing of various questionable deals or breach of policy.
Schiel told the commission that there are rumours at the PIC that say people that have testified at the commission are being called to account.
Evidence leader, Advocate Jan Lubbe says they have received reports regarding this and they are busy investigating.
Martinus de Jonge was subpoenaed to testify. The subpoena was at his request, saying he wanted to cover himself. He was transferred from Due Diligence to Social Infrastructure after being told the CEO no longer wanted him leasing Due Diligence.
De Jonge says the investment was made, even though a few months earlier the PIC has resolved to sell DayBreak Farms. He testified that PIC invested R1.2 billion in DayBreak Farms which was mainly used to pay the debt.
The commission heard that six months after the PIC made the DayBreak Farms Investment, the operation became insolvent. Afrologic was appointed to help turn the company around. It’s understood Daybreak farms has now turned the corner and is making a profit.
The commission has adjourned till Monday 18 March.
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