Chikane at war with Samwu
Seeks apology for ‘slander’
IN A FRESH controversy around the beleaguered City Power, its board chairperson, the Reverend Frank Chikane, is set to take legal action against the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) after some of its members accused him and his wife, Kagiso, of benefiting from a tender from the CSIR.
Chikane said that because he had initiated many anti-fraud and corruption initiatives at City Power, which were met with aggressive resistance, people started spreading “slanderous and baseless” allegations to discredit the process and cast aspersions on the integrity of the chairperson of the board and his family.
In the repeated defamatory allegations, some officials who were and/or claimed to be officials of Samwu have alleged that the utility’s managing director, Sicelo Xulu, had approved and awarded a tender – purported to be a project of the CSIR – to Chikane’s wife.
Chikane was now demanding that they desist from this conduct; refrain from repeating this malicious and unfounded allegation; refrain from causing its further publication; and tender a public apology to both himself and his wife, by no later than Monday, failing which legal action would be taken against them.
A similar letter was sent to the president of Samwu.
“These unfounded allegations are baseless, slanderous and represent a feeble and malicious intent to sully my and my family’s name.
“I wish to state categorically that neither my spouse nor any member of my family has any tender with City Power, nor were they awarded any contract by City Power. In addition, I also do not know of any tender awarded to the CSIR by City Power,” said Chikane.
He added that his wife was employed by the CSIR as a stakeholder relationship manager, and interacted with various municipalities and their state-owned enterprises (SOEs) together with a technical team from the CSIR which deals with smart cities and related technologies.
As such, she was responsible for communication links between the cities affected and their related SOEs.
“To develop and implement the smart-city strategy, the CSIR sought to sign a memorandum of understanding with City Power to work with them in matters related to the city’s smart-city strategy,” he said.
Chikane said that in his personal capacity, he had spearheaded a number of anti-fraud and corruption initiatives at City Power.
“This is borne by my abhorrence towards any acts of impropriety in all of its manifestations.
“The values that I uphold are replicated in my role as chairperson of the City Power board,” he said.
Chikane said he hoped the officials who made these claims on a Samwu letterhead would respond on time, failing which legal action would be taken.
He said the board and executive committee had implemented a restructuring of the human resources department, reviewed the payroll philosophy, created a risk-assurance and compliance committee, reviewed the supply chain management, and reviewed and restructured revenue management to bring it in line with good corporate governance practices.
Furthermore, efforts at combating corruption had yielded significant results.
Samwu national media officer Papikie Mohale said there were disgruntled individuals who were using the union’s letterheads illegally and fraudulently.
“We condemn the use of the union’s official letterheads by individuals who go around masquerading as leaders or members of the union, and we distance ourselves from this.
“However, we stand by our stance that we want to see the reintegration of the entities into the core administration of Joburg,” he said.
Xulu confirmed that no City Power contract had been awarded to Kagiso Chikane.
GLOVES OFF: The Rev Frank Chikane has been angered by defamatory remarks apparently made by Samwu members. RAS