Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said his controversial private investigation into corruption at the utility has achieved some success but refused to name the investigation’s funders.
De Ruyter initiated a R50 million private investigation into corruption at Eskom at the end of 2021, which was intended to complement law enforcement investigations at the utility.
From this investigation, forensic investigation organisation George Fivaz Forensic and Risk compiled a damning report on criminal activity at Eskom, which implicated government officials.
Based on the information from this report, De Ruyter made several allegations in an eNCA interview with Annika Larsen. Following this interview, De Ruyter left the country.
However, the report by Fivaz has since been placed under scrutiny, with journalist Jacques Pauw claiming it “contained no facts” and was “effectively worthless”.
According to Pauw, the investigation also relied on evidence collected by a former Apartheid operative, Tony Oosthuizen.
Pauw claimed that Oosthuizen held racist views and boasted to him about committing murders during the Apartheid era.
The investigation allegedly used “rogue, half-baked intelligence dossiers” to form the basis of “wild and uncorroborated allegations”.
Known funders of the report, like Business Leadership South Africa, have also come under fire for their involvement.
The ANC has also appealed to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria for the right to serve former De Ruyter with court papers in Germany, where he is believed to be staying.
When asked if commissioning the report and investigation was worth it, De Ruyter told BizNews that it had achieved some success.
“The consequence of the investigation has been to catalyse arrests, the deployment of the army, the shutdown of 18 illegal coal sites, the deployment of specialised units of the police, and changes to police structures,” he said.
“So I would say that the investigation has at least achieved some success.”
De Ruyter was also asked about his recent book, Truth to Power: My Three Years Inside Eskom, wherein he exposes widespread corruption and incompetence at the power utility.
De Ruyter said, “In some ways, I’m the boy who pointed out that the Emperor’s new clothes were imaginary and that the naked truth was far less attractive than everyone pretended.”
“But I think someone has to say out loud what many were thinking. Otherwise, we are forsaking our duty to our country.”
However, De Ruyter maintained that he did not want to disclose the identity of donors to the project.
“Given that they did so anonymously, given how I have been treated, I can understand that they don’t want to disclose their identity.”