Treasury backs PIC’s Matjila

South Africa‘s National Treasury on Thursday rallied behind Dan Matjila, the chief executive of the government’s R2 trillion ($160 billion) state pension fund, dismissing a media report that said it was considering his suspension.

“Treasury has faith in Mr Dan Matjila’s leadership,” it said in response to emailed questions. “The Minister is satisfied with the PIC’s overall performance.”

Matjila did not respond to calls for comment.

Matjila, at helm of the Public Investment Corporation since 2014, has come under fire in recent weeks after one opposition party, the United Democratic Movement, asked Treasury to suspend and investigate him for misusing funds.

The UDM alleges that Matjila used funds to bankroll a business of someone close to him.

Business Day newspaper said the PIC board was investigating the fund’s decision to pay R4.3 billion for a 29% stake in loss-making start-up technology firm, Ayo Technology.

Ayo Technology, which debuted on the Johannesburg bourse in December last year, is trading at R35 per share, giving a market capitalisation of around R12 billion. That suggests the PIC stake is now worth roughly R3.5 billion. ($1 = 12.4882 rand)