Irene Charnley
Irene Charnley, founder of Smile Telecoms. Image source: Twitter

Irene Charnley, a former trade unionist and businesswoman, has responded to calls by Bantu Holomisa, the United Democratic Movement leader,  to immediately vacate her seat on the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) board.

In a letter to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Holomisa said Charnley was a former beneficiary of the PIC’s funding initiatives, making her ineligible to serve as a board member.

The United Democratic Movement would argue that there is enough evidence to warrant that Charnley must vacate her seat on the PIC board immediately.

For more read: Irene Charnley Must Vacate Her Seat on the PIC Board, Urges Holomisa

See below Charnley’s response to Holomisa below sent to TechFinancials:

Statement by Irene Charnley on her directorship at PIC

The PIC’s 7.69% shareholding in Smile Telecoms Holdings, on behalf of GEPF ,is part of its Isibaya Portfolio for Unlisted investments, which was concluded on 3 March 2015, long before I was appointed to the current Interim Board of the PIC.

Since the 2016/17 financial year the PIC has published a detailed schedule of all investments in the Isibiya portfolio.

https://www.pic.gov.za/DocPub/PIC%20Unlisted%20Investment%20Schedule.pdf

The PIC, like any other reputable organisation, requires that all directors and employees who may be conflicted or potentially conflicted must fully declare their interests upfront and, in certain instances, recuse themselves. I have followed all these requirements and has never participated in any Board discussions as and when Smile Telecoms were being discussed. Additionally, on my own accord, I have submitted to the PIC an enhanced declaration on the PIC’s investment in Smile.

Thanks and kind regards

Irene Charnley

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