Former National Prosecuting Authority head Vusi Pikoli has been pressured into resigning from his job at an auditing firm because of political interference, according to a report on Friday.
But Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba dismissed it as a “malicious rumour”.
According to the Mail & Guardian Pikoli was asked to resign from SizweNtsalubaGobodo (SNG), the fifth-largest auditing firm in the country, after African National Congress officials allegedly threatened to cut off government contracts if Pikoli did not leave.
Pikoli, once a shareholder, director and partner in forensic investigations at the firm, confirmed to the weekly newspaper that he was unemployed after being told “there is a clear expectation to resign” at the end of February this year.
Pikoli left SizweNtsalubaGobodo in the middle of March.
“I was told that there was a clear expectation of me to resign because some unnamed people in the ANC were not happy that I was working for SNG and that it would in future be difficult to award contracts to SNG because of me, I was told,” Pikoli told the Mail & Guardian.
He said the firm's chairperson Nonkululeku Gobodo refused to name “the ANC people” who raised objections to his employment.
“She didn't want to tell me who exerted pressure on her to fire me.”
According to the newspaper, SNG's biggest contract was with Transnet. The total value of the external auditing contract, worth R300 million, was never before awarded to a 100 percent black-owned company.
Both Gigaba and Transnet denied Pikoli's version of why he resigned.
Gigaba's spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete told the newspaper the minister had merely implemented the recommendation from the board of a state-owned enterprise.
“The minister did not set any conditions for SNG in its deliberations with Transnet, least of all that SNG should dissociate themselves from any of its employees or associates. Allegations to the contrary are false and malicious,” Tshwete said. - Sapa