Chikane warns of criminals in state structures

Criminals have infiltrated sensitive state structures, including security agencies, and ex-agents and “comrades” were playing the system, the Sunday Independent quoted Reverend Frank Chikane as saying.

“Over the years the criminals became cleverer and were able to use the instruments of state to achieve their own objectives,” the director-general in the Presidency told the newspaper.

He also said that no “political faction of any nature” could be allowed to use the levers of state to achieve its own narrow interests.

His comments come amid accusations, on both sides of the African National Congress’s (ANC) succession battle, of abuse of state organs for political purposes.

Chikane described a system where syndicates, rogue intelligence officers and the police were intertwined and playing each other off, with criminals being the ultimate winners.

“We now have information about all these guys who leave the intelligence services to set up their things there.
Because they are so highly skilled they know how to work and create conflict between the agencies of the state, and also to manipulate them, to employ them to get money.”

He rejected the notion of two centres of power within the ANC.

“The idea that ... things happen here [in the Presidency] that are not happening at [ANC headquarters] Luthuli [House] is just a false theory.

“There is not one single policy implemented by the Presidency that was not adopted by the ANC’s national conference, or approved by its National Executive Committee or by the party’s mid-term national councils.”

According to Chikane, the presidency was managed “efficiently and effectively”.

“Even if I went to sleep now, nothing will go wrong with the Presidency because the capacity is there.”

He was proud that, under his watch, the Presidency was run like a “well-oiled machine” with the necessary capacity, policy coordination and integrated management to get things done.

He said the ANC’s succession debate was not affecting the government’s ability to do its job.

“There is no such thing ... the one thing that has not been affected by this crazy debate is governance ... When government performs at its best the reports are most negative.”

Chikane said the ANC had studied Zimbabwe and was not about to repeat its mistakes.

“People have forgotten the real trouble was the economy, not the politics; the politics are a consequence of what happened,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Chikane would stay on as director-general in the Presidency for another year. He was special advisor to President Thabo Mbeki, then deputy president, in 1995. He has served on the National Executive Committee since 1997. - Sapa

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