COSATU statement on Dr Dan Matjila’s continued attempts to divert attention away from his failure to lead the PIC

COSATU notes that Dr Dan Matjila in his submission to the PIC Commission of Enquiry today has continued to allege that COSATU had somehow forced him to resign, as the CEO of the PIC in November 2018.

Unfortunately, Dr Matjila has still failed to provide any substance or evidence for this allegation.  The sole basis for this diversionary fairytale is an email sent to the then Deputy Minister of Finance, Mondli Gungubele, requesting the PIC’s support for the Edcon rescue package; a whole three months after Dr Matjila’s resignation!

Without bothering to indulge Dr. Matjila’s chronological fantasies, it is difficult for a sober person to comprehend why someone would resign in November 2018 because of an email that would only be written three months later!

Dr Matjila’s resignation took place in the context of several internal probes in the PIC, countless media articles about serious wrongdoings, a general breakdown in good governance and subsequent summonses to Parliament and the appointment by the President of a Judicial Commission of Enquiry.

As stated in numerous media statements and articles, COSATU became involved in the Edcon rescue plan in late January 2019 (again long after Dr Matjila’s resignation).  Our mandate was and remains clear.  It is to do everything possible (and within the parameters of the law) to save the 40 000 direct jobs in the Edcon group and the 100 000 indirect jobs at factories and companies supplying Edcon.  Those are COSATU members and workers.

COSATU has not beaten about the bush regarding the campaign to save Edcon.  We did not tiptoe around the egos of PIC and UIF bureaucrats on why they must do exactly what they are paid to do by taxpayers.

The Edcon intervention was a tripartite collective effort of the lenders, landlords and workers (through the UIF).  Its goal was to save 140 000 workers’ jobs.  It was approved by both the UIF and PIC and had to pass their standard evaluations.  This included guarantees and securities in exchange for the UIF investment.

Dr Matjila and many other persons are quick or chose to forget that the PIC funds do not belong to the state or private sector.  These are the workers’ hard-earned pension and insurance funds.  It is workers’ money and workers want that money to benefit workers and not obnoxious self-enriching elite.  The Edcon intervention by COSATU was an act of worker solidarity.

COSATU’s mandate is to protect workers’ jobs and that is exactly what the federation did and will continue to do without apology.  COSATU is equally pleased with the determination shown by the Minister for Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, then Deputy Minister Gungubele, President Cyril Ramaphosa amongst others to ensure that those 140 000 workers did not join the unemployment queue.  The fact that it occurred before the elections is neither here nor there.  There are always pending elections in a democracy.

If Dr Matjila’s feels that COSATU’s unashamed defence of worker’s jobs and hard-earned monies against a predatory elite caused him to resign, then the federation is happy to claim victory.

For more information please contact:

Matthew Parks

COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator082 785 0687