South Africa

Andre de Ruyter must come clean – Eskom chairman

Eskom chairman Mpho Makwana says Andre de Ruyter must take the South African public into his confidence and share what he knows about corruption at Eskom.

Makwana was responding to questions from Newzroom Africa’s Xoli Mngambi about De Ruyter’s explosive interview on eNCA.

During the interview, De Ruyter said he approached a senior minister about a high-level politician involved in sinister and potentially criminal activities at Eskom.

“The minister in question looked at a senior official and said, ‘I guess it was inevitable that it would come out anyway’. It suggests that it was not news,” De Ruyter said.

It later emerged that two ministers were implicated in an Eskom corruption investigation and have been reported to minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan.

De Ruyter also revealed that they know of at least four organised crime cartels in Mpumalanga operating in Eskom, which steal R1 billion monthly.

“Some of them also have an interest in Transnet, which we see in our inability to use rail to get coal to the Majuba power station,” the former Eskom CEO said.

The four criminal cartels are sophisticated, well-organised, and even adopted language associated with the Mafia, like captains and soldiers.

“They have a hit squad of between sixty and seventy highly trained and well-armed people. People get assassinated in Mpumalanga.”

He said the criminal networks had extended their tentacles to many Eskom workers who sabotage and vandalise power stations on their behalf.

Andre de Ruyter must share what he knows

Eskom chairman Mpho Makwana

Makwana said De Ruyter never discussed information regarding cabinet ministers involved in corruption with the Eskom board.

“What we know now is that somebody has been funding a private investigation which De Ruyter has been leading outside of the law enforcement authorities,” he said.

Makwana said they had no previous knowledge of the investigation, and there is no indication that Eskom funds were used for the project.

The Eskom chairman urged De Ruyter to take the South African public into his confidence and reveal who funded the investigation.

“It is incumbent upon him to disclose fully whom the backers were that funded this private initiative of investigating a national utility outside of law enforcement authorities,” he said.

“He should also share the outcome of the investigation with law enforcement authorities and lay cases at police stations to ensure perpetrators are arrested,” he said.

Makwana said it is perplexing that De Ruyter would launch such an investigation when he had all the tools he needed inside the National Energy Crisis Committee (NECOM).

Eskom participates in the crisis committee and, as Eskom’s CEO, De Ruyter was a member.

Through NECOM, De Ruyter had direct access to the minister of police, the minister leading the national security forces, and all other law enforcement authorities.

“The Hawks regularly meet with Eskom’s legal team to compare notes on progress on various cases that have been opened,” he said.

Makwana said it is sad that De Ruyter is sitting on vital information that he did not want to share with the relevant authorities.


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