Previous regime still blamed

Nwabisa Makunga and Mkhululi Ndamase

FRANK Chikane tells the story of one of the drivers at the Union Buildings, where he was a director-general in the Presidency for 13 years. “One day I was surprised when I got a call from my wife asking what I was doing in Soshanguve when my schedule required me to be in the office in Pretoria. I told her I was not in Soshanguve, but she had a tracker for my car and could tell where it was.”

Upon investigation, Chikane said, the driver – a member of the ANC who had spent years in exile during apartheid – had gone to a secret meeting in Soshanguve.

“We subsequently discovered that when this man was in exile, he was compromised. He had handlers who took care of him at the time. When he came back to South Africa after democracy he got a job in the Presidency. Then the handlers demanded illegal favours and he had to deliver at whatever cost.”

The packed Red Location Museum in Nelson Mandela Bay listened attentively last week as Chikane explained the essence of his latest book – The Things That Could Not Be Said – an attempt at a tell-all account of his years in one of the government’s top jobs.

In it, Chikane blames some of the divisions and infighting in the ANC on an army of people who he claims serve the interests of “the old guard” of the South African government.

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