Chikane at war with Samwu

Seeks apol­ogy for ‘slan­der’

The Star Late Edition - - NEWS - ANNA COX

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

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