The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has welcomed the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and the appointments of Lex Mpati, Gill Marcus and Emmanuel Lediga.
In a statement on Sunday, 15 March 2020, the South African Federation of Trade Unions welcomed the PIC report and congratulated President Cyril Ramaphosa for appointing Judge Lex Mpati, former Governor of the Reserve Bank, Gill Marcus, and Emmanuel Lediga.
However, the trade union questioned the safety of workers’ pensions, as the report proved that criminality was just the tip of the iceberg. “Workers whose pension fund managers over-invested in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) saw their values drop by 28 percent from a peak just over two years ago to the low on Thursday, [12 March 2020]. Most of this crash occurred this week, as the catastrophic implications of the coronavirus became clearer,” read the statement.
SAFTU noted that it has called for an investigation and prosecution of pension looters since the Steinhoff scandal broke in 2017, to no avail. The union emphasised that investigations should go beyond the main suspects, but also include individuals and institutions who played a fundamental role in the damage, such the regulatory bodies, stock exchanges and auditing firms.
The union expressed that its workers’ greatest fear is that “the report will, like others before it – such as the SARS report – gather dust in the understaffed offices of the National Prosecuting Authority, without any action taken to make those fingered in the report for their ugly deeds.”