Andre de Ruyter’s Eskom corruption warnings investigated

Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter’s warnings about endemic fraud and corruption at the power utility are now being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

De Ruyter warned about widespread malfeasance at Eskom in an explosive ENCA interview and his book, Truth to Power: My Three Years Inside Eskom.

He said Eskom was crippled by corruption on a staggering scale involving staff, contractors, crime syndicates, and high-profile politicians.

He highlighted numerous cases of brazen fraud and corruption at Eskom, including:

  • Fake fuel oil deliveries at the Tutuka power station which cost Eskom R100 million per month.
  • A corrupt tender awarded to Hitachi Power Africa to provide Medupi and Kusile with boiler units caused tremendous problems.
  • The supports attached to a pylon carrying power lines to Lethabo Power Station’s overland coal conveyor were cut.
  • The unlawful awarding of a contract to supply coal to Eskom’s Majuba power station to the Gupta-owned company Tegeta Exploration and Resources.
  • Good-quality coal needed to generate electricity at the coal-fired plants was replaced by poor-quality ‘discard coal’.
  • A person cut through a conveyor belt that fed coal into the boilers. That had led to significant disruption.
  • Widespread corruption related to equipment ordering and warehousing at Eskom power stations.

Many politicians and others questioned De Ruyter’s warnings as part of it came from a private intelligence report compiled by George Fivaz Forensic and Risk (GFFR).

Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw claimed the report “contained no facts” and was “effectively worthless”.

Eskom Chairman Mpho Makwana said De Ruyter hadn’t discussed the majority of his allegations with the board.

ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula threatened legal action against De Ruyter for his allegations that senior ANC members were involved in Eskom corruption.

Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

However, De Ruyter is getting vindicated by the latest developments regarding fraud and corruption investigations at Eskom.

President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that Eskom cancelled coal-supply agreements and construction contracts worth R11 billion rand as they crack down on crime at the power utility.

“There is currently an operational task team conducting investigations into allegations of alleged sabotage, fraud, corruption, and the theft of Eskom’s infrastructure,” he said.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) also revealed it was expanding its investigations into corruption at Eskom as it goes beyond employees to contractors and private companies.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said their investigations at Eskom are huge and constantly increasing as more is uncovered.

It has expanded its investigations into the supply of inferior coal to Eskom, causing damage to some of the utility’s equipment to secure repair contracts.

Conveyor belts at several coal power stations were also damaged to secure tenders to transport coal via trucks from different mines.

The construction of Eskom’s power stations, particularly Medupi and Kusile, is also under investigation.

Several private companies have been prosecuted, with Swiss-German engineering firm ABB the most notable. ABB paid R1.6 billion back to Eskom following successful prosecution.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa revealed that 2,147 criminal cases relating to Eskom had been reported to the police, with 1,586 under investigation and 126 arrests since April 2022.

Ramokgopa said it was clear that the destruction of infrastructure is not coincidental but rather it is orchestrated.

He added that investigations need to “go beyond the ordinary men to the main orchestrators and the brains behind the efforts to undermine electricity supply”.

These comments echo De Ruyter’s allegations of criminal syndicates and powerful politicians were behind malfeasance at Eskom, which damages the power utility.


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