Andre de Ruyter’s conduct at Eskom under fire

Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter’s conduct during his tenure at Eskom has been called into question by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) over whether he flouted procurement processes in awarding a tender to Fidelity.

Scopa met with the Eskom board and executive team this week to examine the efforts they are making to investigate the allegations made by De Ruyter following his controversial intelligence report.

Scopa chair Mkhuleko Hlengwa said to SABC that the Parliamentary body must also investigate De Ruyter’s conduct while CEO of Eskom. 

“There is merit in assessing whether Mr De Ruyter complied with regulations and whether he failed in his fiduciary duties as an executive”, said Hlengwa. 

Scopa will focus on the R500 million tender granted to Fidelity while De Ruyter was CEO. 

It has been alleged that De Ruyter flouted procurement processes in awarding the tender to Fidelity, with it being a closed process. 

Eskom said it awarded the tender under emergency procurement processes, allowing state institutions to award tenders without competing offers. 

The utility received a tip-off that its infrastructure was set to be attacked before contacting Fidelity. This justified the need for an emergency procurement process to be followed. 

However, Scopa questioned why Fidelity was the only company Eskom contacted and what services it could provide that seemingly no other security firm could. 

Moreover, there is no information about what services the company did provide and if any results were produced if Eskom is currently suffering from systematic sabotage and is failing to protect its infrastructure. 

Karen Pillay, acting head of security at Eskom, has been placed on precautionary suspension relating to the R500 million emergency security contract awarded to Fidelity.

There are numerous grey areas around his conduct at the utility alongside the tender awarded to Fidelity which Scopa aims to investigate.

Hlengwa also lambasted De Ruyter’s tenure at Eskom as “three wasted years”. 


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