Rev Frank Chikane is the chairperson of City Power. File picture: Sizwe Ndingane/Independent Media
Johannesburg – Former City Power chairperson, the Reverend Frank Chikane, appears desperate to clear his name over allegations of corruption and the controversial decision taken by members of his then board not to remove the managing director, Sicelo Xulu.

Chikane on Saturday sought to lay bare the reasons he had not ceded to the demands of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba that Xulu be relieved of his duties owing to corruption investigations conducted against him and another employee at City Power.

Xulu remains on suspension.

A resolute Chikane, addressing the media in Melrose Arch, Joburg, reiterated his views that he and members of his board prioritised corruption by initiating investigations into many of the staff members who were under suspicion.

“I was called in and asked to suspend the managing director and another staff member because they (the City) had information that they were corrupt.

“I said whatever you have, I hope it’s not what we have investigated,” Chikane said.

He said he then asked the City to provide the board with information to ascertain whether it indeed had evidence but this did not happen.

He added he was told by Mashaba to remove Xulu, and the City would deal with the matter much later.

“I told them I can’t act without a board.

“You don’t act on whistle-blower information. You test it before you use it,” he said.

Chikane insisted there was nothing sinister unearthed on Xulu, saying if there was in fact anything wrong, a forensic audit by SizweNtsalubaGobodo would reveal everything.

His remarks follow a recent annual general meeting convened by Mashaba in which the mayor outlined the state of affairs at all of the city’s entities including nefarious activity said to have plagued City Power for a long time.

But Chikane said City Power had done their best to root out all forms of corruption.

He said he had played his part in taking City Power to new heights.

“I have done my job. I never leave a place in a shambles.”

He also placed emphasis on the issues surrounding the non-renewal of the board’s contract by the city.

He said the entire board was never removed nor dissolved by (Mashaba) but retired, and as a result there was no tension between Mashaba and members of the board.

“There were many people who got retired in my board.

“In this case, the shareholder retired the board and appointed a new one.

“The problem for me is when the retirement of the board is associated with refusal to deal with corruption. That is where I have a problem.

“You can retire a board, but the fact we could not suspend the managing director in terms of the law does not mean we are not against corruption.”

Chikane said he had seen the transition of different governments from that of Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, but the blatant failure in governance, as seen in the the Department of Social Development Sassa grant payment debacle, should never be tolerated.

He also weighed in on the crisis faced by various parastatals, saying self-interest by individuals were to blame for the under-performance of these.

Sunday Independent