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AYO refutes siphoning funds abroad

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JSE-listed AYO Technology has refuted claims by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) that funds from the company were siphoned out of SA.

AYO said the allegations are “without merit” and the company had not made “any application to the South African Reserve Bank to transfer funds off-shore nor does it intend to do so”.

This after acting executive head of legal, governance and compliance of the PIC, Lindiwe Dlamini, told Parliament on Tuesday that the fund manager is considering court action, specifically an anti-dissipation order, to prevent AYO from allegedly transferring funds off-shore.

The full board of the PIC and deputy finance minister David Masondo appeared in Parliament yesterday to present its integrated annual report, as well as its financial statements for the 2018/2019 financial year, to the Standing Committee on Finance.

Responding to MPs who questioned the PIC about its loans to companies like Sekunjalo and allegations the fund had paid an inflated fee per share for a major stake in the Sekunjalo-owned AYO Technology, Dlamini assured the parliamentarians that the PIC was dealing with the payment of loans and transactions that had gone wrong.

“I can give the committee assurance that the PIC has taken action against Sekunjalo. We have issued a letter of demand; in fact, a portfolio management committee did resolve a couple of months ago that the PIC must perfect its security regarding the transaction.”

Eyewitness News reported earlier today that the PIC has threatened Dr Iqbal Survé's company Sekunjalo Investment Holdings with liquidation.

This morning AYO hit back.

In a note to shareholders, AYO said: “The company wishes to advise shareholders that these allegations are without merit. AYO being a South African company and operating under the laws of South Africa would need to follow the same process as any other company wishing to transfer funds off-shore by applying to the South African Reserve Bank for approval prior to executing such an off-shore transfer.”

Further, AYO said: “It has not made any application to the South African Reserve Bank to transfer funds off-shore nor does it intend to do so.”

The company, via its attorneys, has sent a letter to the PIC, which included details of the various accounts as well as account numbers in which its funds are held at its South African bankers.

AYO is a broad-based black economic empowerment ICT group offering a number of end-to-end solutions to various industries.

It was previously called Sekunjalo Technology Solutions and is a subsidiary of JSE-listed African Equity Empowerment Investments. AYO listed in the computer services sector of the JSE in December 2017.

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