Forensic investigator Calvin Rafadi said Eskom managers and employees had been involved in sabotage at power stations for years.
On Sunday, the City Press newspaper reported that a high-ranking Eskom executive is linked to sabotage at power stations.
The report followed former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter’s revelations about employees and contractors sabotaging the power utility in his book, ‘Truth to Power’.
De Ruyter said around two stages of load-shedding could be ascribed to sabotage, theft, and corruption.
There were clear-cut cases of sabotage at Eskom during Du Ruyter’s tenure as chief executive, including:
- A pylon carrying power lines that fed Lethabo’s overland coal conveyor was sabotaged when the steel rods supporting it were cut.
- Criminal cartels are sabotaging railway lines feeding power stations to ensure the survival of their trucking companies transporting coal to Eskom.
- Criminal networks sabotage the conveyor belts taking coal directly from a mine to a power station to benefit trucking companies.
De Ruyter improved security and Eskom’s intelligence capacity so that it could predict and prevent sabotage.
“At times, it felt like we were engaged in a low-grade civil war against criminals threatening to overrun the state,” he said.
The latest report of an Eskom executive should not come as a surprise. However, what is concerning is that the executive has been under investigation for years.
Rafadi told eNCA they have been investigating the implicated Eskom executive manager for the last three years.
“Police minister Bheki Cele has also confirmed that they are investigating some executive managers at Eskom,” he said.
Rafadi said there is extensive evidence which shows sabotage involving Eskom staff, including WhatsApp messages the police have.
He explained that contractors and procurement companies are behind the sabotage at Eskom power stations.
They typically bribe Eskom employees to proactively break equipment, which causes power outages and gives contractors and procurement companies more work.
DA public enterprises spokesperson Ghaleb Cachalia said the recent reports substantiate De Ruyter’s allegations.
Cachalia called for the immediate suspension of the Eskom executive and other employees implicated in sabotage.
“How do you keep people alleged to have been sabotaging and damaging power stations at Eskom?” he asked.
He said they need to be sidelined until the investigation into sabotage and corruption has been concluded.
Eskom responded to these allegations, saying it takes these sabotage allegations seriously and will allow the law to take its course.
“Eskom is committed to rooting out fraud, corruption and sabotage within its ranks and will fully cooperate with law enforcement,” it said.