State pension money invested in ‘questionable’ Congo palm oil ...

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State pension money invested in ‘questionable’ Congo palm oil company

SA’s involvement in the business, which is accused of human rights violations, is described as ‘highly inappropriate’

Senior reporter

The South African Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) is invested in a Congolese palm oil business linked to human rights abuses and land expropriation.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has confirmed that pension funds are being indirectly invested in Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC). The funds are ploughed in via a US investment company, Kuramo Capital Management, PHC’s majority stakeholder. PHC’s previous owners include British multinational consumer goods company Unilever and Canadian company Feronia. Kuramo acquired a majority stake in PHC late last year.  

PHC’s alleged human rights abuses are detailed in a report released last month by US think-tank the Oakland Institute. In a press release published two weeks ago, the institute drew attention to the report’s broad findings and themes, which include a list of key investors in the PHC’s DRC business...

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