ANC distances itself from Pikoli claims

2012-05-25 20:00
Johannesburg - The ANC knows nothing about claims that former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Vusi Pikoli was pressurised by "unnamed people in the ANC" to resign from his job at an auditing firm.

"The ANC doesn't know about anything written there," African National Congress spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said of the claims made in a report in the Mail&Guardian.

"Who are those unnamed people, tell me who they are?" he asked.

He said the newspaper article was about the government and had nothing to do with the ANC.

"If you read further, there you will see it is government related, so why would we comment on something government related?

"Why don't you guys approach that government department? Don't approach us on this. Don't make us the scapegoat."

According to the Mail & Guardian, Pikoli was asked to resign from SizweNtsalubaGobodo (SNG), the fifth-largest auditing firm in the country, after ANC officials allegedly threatened to cut off government contracts if he did not leave.

Pikoli, who was at one time a shareholder, a director and a partner in forensic investigations at the firm, confirmed to the newspaper that he was unemployed.

"I was told [in February] 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 left the firm in the middle of March.

He said its chairwoman Nonkululeku Gobodo refused to name "the ANC people" who had raised objections to his employment.

"She didn't want to tell me who exerted pressure on her to fire me."

SNG's biggest contract is with Transnet. An external auditing contract of its size - R300m - has never before been awarded to a 100% black-owned company.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba dismissed the claims as a "malicious rumour". Transnet also denied Pikoli's version.

Gigaba's spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said the minister had merely implemented a 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 disassociate themselves from any of its employees or associates," Tshwete told the newspaper.

"Allegations to the contrary are false and malicious."

- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  jackson mthembu  |  vusi pikoli  |  malusi gigaba  |  politics
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