Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter’s explosive interview on ENCA was followed by damning corruption claims based on a secret intelligence dossier.
De Ruyter revealed in the interview that he launched a private investigation in 2022 using money from donations.
The private, intelligence-driven investigation was needed because of the poor support Eskom and De Ruyter received from official law enforcement agencies.
An intelligence dossier was distributed to prominent media houses, and reports emerged about widespread corruption involving high-level politicians.
Carte Blanche reported that the dossier contained monthly intelligence reports with a detailed organogram about a criminal network involving a top politician.
Other prominent components include a henchman, a murder squad, a propaganda machine, and corrupt cops.
The implicated ministers allegedly used trusted partners and distant family members to funnel the ill-gotten gains to them.
When De Ruyter reported the corruption to one minister, he was told, “I guess it was inevitable that it would come out anyway”. “It suggests that it was not news,” the former Eskom CEO said.
The Mail & Guardian reported that the board of Eskom, Pravin Gordhan, energy minister Gwede Mantashe and even President Cyril Ramaphosa were aware of the corruption.
Apart from telling Gordhan about the corruption, De Ruyter also briefed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national security advisor, Sydney Mufamadi.
News24 reported that Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, said Mufamadi confirmed being briefed by De Ruyter and the head of the investigation firm on two occasions.
However, he said, “he was never briefed on any individuals or given names of people who were or are being investigated”.
News24 reported that De Ruyter also personally briefed the highest-ranking police officer in the country on allegations of corruption at Eskom.
The former Eskom CEO explained that there is a direct connection between theft, sabotage, procurement irregularities, and local and national politics.
Four criminal cartels in Eskom
He also revealed that criminal syndicates in Mpumalanga were stealing around R1 billion a month from Eskom.
“We know of at least four organised crime cartels operating in Mpumalanga operating in Eskom,” he said.
The criminal networks have extended their tentacles to many Eskom workers who sabotage and vandalise power stations on their behalf.
“Our informants tell us that when these criminal cartel bosses have a gathering and walk into the room, they wash their hands in 15-year-old whisky. Why? Because they can,” De Ruyter said.
There is a car dealer in the Mpumalanga highveld towns where you can park your Maserati or McLaren. “If you feel like driving it, you order it, and it gets delivered to you,” he said.
The reason why it is done that way is to bypass lifestyle audits. “This particular car dealer renders a particularly innovative service,” the former Eskom CEO said.
He added that you should start asking questions if you look at the number of Louis Vuitton bags among certain individuals and compare it with their disposable income.
“This is well known. We have seen Eskom buyers parading on Facebook with all of their fineries, and when we investigated, it turned out they were corrupt. There is no shame or attempt to hide it.”
Citing the intelligence reports, Daily Maverick reported two senior cabinet members were linked to the four criminal cartels.
De Ruyter reportedly told the police about the Mpumalanga syndicates and the alleged involvement of two senior ANC government officials.
However, he said that law enforcement and security agencies are “missing in action” without much being done.
Intelligence analysts talks
One of the analysts, who used to be a national intelligence officer, spoke to Carte Blanche about the investigation and the reports which were compiled.
He said they had to work in the shadows to gather information about corruption at Eskom and put the puzzle together.
“These are people who see money only. There is no moral consideration whatsoever. I am scared like hell,” he said.
As part of this project, the team worked through different channels for the client, which was De Ruyter.
“There was a deep frustration that requests directed towards law enforcement and security institutions had not delivered substantial results,” he said.
The team infiltrated Eskom using secret informants. “As the informants got better placed and received better information, we realised we were onto something really big.”
They uncovered numerous rackets, including bribes for jobs, sabotage, tender fraud, diesel theft, cable theft, and operations by the ‘coal mafia’.