The Western Cape High Court has heard that analysts at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) were still conducting due diligence on a proposal to buy shares in IT group AYO in late 2017 when they heard that then-CEO Dan Matjila had already signed the deal, reports Fin24.

This is according to former PIC assistant portfolio manager Victor Seanie, who was giving evidence for the second day in the long-awaited civil case between the state-owned asset manager and AYO.

The PIC, which manages the pensions of SA civil servants, invested R4.3bn in AYO in late 2017 ahead of its listing on the JSE.

It has gone to court in an attempt to compel AYO, part of Iqbal Survé's Sekunjalo group of companies, to repay its investment, saying the IT group misrepresented what it would do with the money.

AYO has denied wrongdoing.

Seanie told the court that he was ‘very surprised’ when he heard that Matjila had signed an irrevocable subscription agreement.

‘Our work had not yet been completed’.

It is unclear whether Matjila will give evidence as he is not on the PIC's list of witnesses.

At the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the PIC in 2019, Matjila gave evidence on the AYO deal, where he denied any wrongdoing, saying the IT group's valuation of R43 a share did not look odd to him. AYO's stock has fallen by over 90% since it listed in late 2017.

The PIC v AYO case has been set down for four weeks. Former PIC, Eskom and Transnet head Brian Molefe was present in court yesterday.

According to a Netwerk24 report, Molefe said he was not a witness. Molefe was the CEO of PIC between 2003 and 2008 and is reportedly close to Survé.

Apart from his interest as a ‘member of the public’, Molefe said he finished his LLB degree last year and therefore also attended the hearing as a ‘law student’.

Full Fin24 report

See also full Cape Times report

Full Netwerk24 report (subscription needed)