Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
18 Nov 2019
4:45 pm

Rev Frank Chikane to appear at the Zondo commission

Makhosandile Zulu

Chikane was part of a forum of directors-general that in 2016 drafted a memorandum calling for an inquiry into state capture by the Gupta family.

Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa, President of the South African Council of Churches (center) together with Reverend Frank Chikane (left) and Bishop Mpumlwana address student leaders, on their concerns regarding the problem of fees in higher education that the students are currently fighting under the #feesmustfall movement, Randburg, 19 January 2016. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Reverend Frank Chikane will on Tuesday appear before the commission of inquiry into state capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Chikane is a former director-general (DG) in President Thabo Mbeki’s office and ANC member of the national executive committee.

He was part of a forum of DGs that in 2016 drafted a memorandum calling for an inquiry into state capture by the Gupta family.

The commission previously heard from the former CEO of Government Communications and Information Systems (GCIS) Themba Maseko – who was allegedly redeployed from his position for refusing to do the Guptas’ bidding – that during the drafting of the said memorandum, a number of other DGs had shared their experiences with the Gupta family and those implicated in state capture.

Other members of the forum of DGs included Maseko and former national director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli.

Maseko previously told the commission that the memorandum was addressed to a number of ministers as well as heads and deputies of the country’s national executive, with the first addressee being then minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, whose office, Maseko said, confirmed receiving the memorandum. Former minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi’s office also confirmed receipt of the memorandum, as did former president Jacob Zuma’s office.

Maseko testified that the office of the country’s deputy president at the time also confirmed receiving the memorandum.

The memorandum, Maseko said, addressed how the Gupta family had allegedly unduly influenced procurement and key appointments at government departments and state-owned entities.

Maseko said a number of senior government officials had complained to the signatories of the memorandum about how procurement processes were being undermined at government departments and how their political principals had allegedly influenced this.

Maseko said the DGs that compiled the memorandum had called for a broader inquiry into state capture because the ANC process probing the allegations at the time would not get to the bottom of the allegations, as those outside the party would not be obligated to testify during the internal party process.

Maseko also told the commission that he had also taken part in the governing party’s process on the matter.

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