Energy analyst Chris Yelland said former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has good reason to fear for his life which can be why he is appearing before parliament virtually instead of in person.
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has confirmed that De Ruyter will appear before it virtually at 09h00 on Wednesday.
Scopa invited de Ruyter to brief the committee following an explosive interview with ENCA in which he made serious allegations against ANC politicians and top government officials.
The former Eskom CEO said that government officials were deeply involved in corrupt activities at Eskom.
He alleged that he informed a cabinet minister of the malfeasance, but nothing came from it. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan confirmed that de Ruyter briefed him.
Many stakeholders hope that de Ruyter will provide further details about his allegations of corruption at Eskom during the Scopa briefing.
Commenting on de Ruyter’s decision to appear virtually, Yelland said the former CEO has reason to fear for his life.
“There were significant risks to his life while he was CEO, and there probably are now if he is given an opportunity to incriminate people at a very high level,” Yelland said.
He said people who may be implicated include politicians and criminal networks operating mainly in Mpumalanga, where many coal-fired Eskom power stations are based.
“There is reason for de Ruyter to believe, through the previous assassination attempt on his life, that there could be significant risks against him,” he said.
Yelland said the assassination risk could be why the former Eskom CEO is appearing virtually before parliament.
This view aligns with de Ruyter’s comment that he would leave South Africa for a while to ensure his safety following his explosive interview.
Asked whether he is concerned that he may be murdered for speaking out, de Ruyter said he plans to spend time abroad after leaving Eskom. “I think that will be good for my health,” he said.