City Power Chairman defends himself against allegations of fraud

City Power's Chairman of the Board, Reverend Frank Chikane. Photo: Twitter

The Executive Mayor of City of Johannesburg, councillor Herman Mashaba, has confirmed that an independent forensic investigation into City Power tenders has been launched.

The Chairperson of the Board of City Power, Reverend Frank Chikane, has now stepped up to defend himself and his family against the allegations being made. According to him, the board has – under his leadership – driven a zero tolerance policy against fraud and corruption.

Efforts toward combating corruption have yielded significant results and Chikane said that an estimated 874 cases have been registered with the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority. “To date, 813 arrests have been made and 274 successful convictions have been secured. A cable theft syndicate was bust last year and a senior City Power official was arrested. An internal investigation of fraud has been launched into a meter reading syndicate, which has also yielded results. Our efforts have also resulted in addressing the abuse of overtime, travel and cellphone allowances,” Chikane said.

It has come to light that some officials, claiming to be from the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), have alleged that the Managing Director of City Power, Sicelo Xulu, has approved and awarded a tender to Chikane’s wife. This tender was supposedly a project of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), where she was employed.

Chikane denied these allegations and demanded that they refrain from repeating the malicious and unfounded allegations and offer a public apology. “If these demands are not met, legal action will be taken,” said Chikane.

The President of SAMWU, Paul Molalenyane, has responded by saying, “As the political head of SAMWU, we are not aware nor had sanctioned anyone to write the allegations reflected on the SAMWU letterhead. The national leadership has requested the then SAMWU region several times to provide it with material evidence and to date we have not received such. I will therefore distance SAMWU from these allegations.”

Chikane’s wife was employed by the CSIR as a stakeholder relationship manager and interacted with various municipalities, their State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) and technical teams dealing with smart cities and related technologies. She was responsible for communication between the cities and their SOEs. She said that, according to her knowledge, only Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) were signed between them and City Power.

Reverend Chikane concluded by saying, “I cannot, for the life of me, willfully or unconsciously, be party to any conduct that is at variance with my moral values and principles, nor will I benefit from acts of a dubious nature.”

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Adéle Bloem

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