Public Protector confirms City Power investigation

Busisiwe Mkhwebane says the probe is at an advanced stage and her office will be issuing a report soon.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has confirmed her office is investigating City Power.

Mkhwebane was speaking on the sidelines of her first nationwide stakeholder forum at the Johannesburg City Hall on Thursday.

City Power's board has welcomed an investigation by the City of Johannesburg's forensics department, launched by Mayor Herman Mashaba into the power utility’s tenders valued at billions of rand.

Earlier this week, Mashaba fired MMC for Infrastructure Anthony Still, saying they could no longer agree on an approach to deal with corruption at City Power.

But Still said he was sacked after disagreeing with the mayor about suspending the utility’s Managing Director Sicelo Xulu.

Mkhwebane says the probe is at an advanced stage.

“Yes we’re investigating that and I think we’re at an advanced stage with that investigation and we’ll be issuing a report soon.”

At the same time, Chairman of the board of City Power Reverend Frank Chikane said the power utility’s managing director will remain in his position.

Although he said he believes the power utility’s board is right to say it can’t suspend Xulu at this point, Reverand Chikane was asked if the board still has confidence in Xulu.

“He’s MD of City Power and will continue as MD of City Power until this investigation is done.”

Chikane could not confirm or refute allegations that the mayor has been putting pressure on the board to suspend Xulu, saying he doesn’t want to answer questions that involve his interactions with the mayor.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)