Frank Chikane. Picture: THULI DLAMINI
Frank Chikane. Picture: THULI DLAMINI

The City of Johannesburg will not apologise to ANC veteran Frank Chikane and his wife Kagiso, but has acknowledged that allegations that she was awarded an unsolicited business contract by City Power, were "not substantiated".

Last week, Chikane, a former City Power board chair, wrote an e-mail to mayor Herman Mashaba and city manager Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni to demand an apology for allegations made against his wife by two former regional officials of the municipal union Samwu in 2017. This formed part of an official investigation into irregularities at the power utility.

The investigation was instituted by Mashaba, and had to establish, among a myriad of other allegations, whether former City Power MD Sicelo Xulu had approved and awarded a tender — purported to be a project of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) — to Kagiso Chikane and if Xulu had instructed officials to work with her, and that she did work there.

Chikane wrote in the e-mail that the couple was aware that the final report by audit firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo was completed in June 2017, and had found the allegations to be unsubstantiated.

"More than a year has gone by and we have not heard from you or the City. We expected that the City would have the decency, after pursuing false allegations against us, to inform us that our names have been cleared. We also expected that the City would publish an apology to clear the name of my wife, Kagiso," Chikane wrote.

Kagiso, who had worked as a stakeholder manager at the CSIR, told Business Day that the allegations had tarnished her good name. "It blemished my 16-year good record at the CSIR. But it has also blemished my name and the name of my family. I am [now] doing business. If people had to Google me, the last report is that I have been involved in this. I want my name to be cleared," she said.

She believed her husband was the actual target of the allegations made against her.

In response to questions from Business Day, Mashaba’s spokesperson Luyanda Mfeka said neither the City nor the mayor had made allegations against Kagiso and that an apology should rather be sought from those who had done so.