South Africa

Andre de Ruyter has disappeared

Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter disappeared shortly after his explosive interview in which he made serious allegations about fraud and corruption involving top politicians.

Last month, De Ruyter told ENCA’s Annika Larsen there was widespread malfeasance at Eskom involving top politicians and government officials.

He insinuated that the ruling party and ministers are aware of the corruption and fraud but are not acting to put a stop to it.

The former Eskom head added that the power utility is a feeding trough for the ANC and that the party is stuck in outdated communist ideologies which embarrass South Africa.

After the interview aired, it emerged that two ministers were implicated in an Eskom corruption investigation and have been reported to the minister of public enterprises, Pravin Gordhan.

De Ruyter endured severe criticism following the interview. Many politicians, government officials, and the Eskom board called on him to share what he knew.

The ANC was particularly aggressive towards De Ruyter’s allegations and, in February, gave him seven days to lay criminal charges, with verifiable details about his serious allegations, within seven days.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said failure to bring such information forward and report it in line with his obligations would result in the ANC laying section 34 charges against him.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri

On 28 February 2023, the ANC issued a letter of demand to De Ruyter and Eskom to issue a retraction and an apology. It did not happen.

Two weeks ago, ANC attorney Krish Naidoo said the party was preparing to sue De Ruyter for defamation.

“We are finalising summons. The ANC just has to settle on a quantum, so we are busy working on that now,” he told the Mail & Guardian.

However, there is a problem. For the ANC to sue De Ruyter for defamation, they must deliver the summons to him, but nobody knows where he is.

“The summons prepared by the ANC’s lawyers continue to gather dust as the battle to get them to De Ruyter is proving tougher than drilling a hole into a rock,” Sunday World reported.

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula is putting pressure on Naidoo to take the matter further, but it is easier said than done.

“We cannot find De Ruyter to serve him with the summons. We do not know where he is,” Naidoo told Sunday World.

Mbalula said the former Eskom CEO has “gone underground” following his interview but said they would “trace him, find him, and smoke him out wherever he is”.

De Ruyter’s disappearance should not come as a surprise. During the interview, he said he would leave South Africa for a while to ensure his safety.

Asked whether he is concerned that he may be murdered for speaking out, De Ruyter said he plans to spend time abroad after leaving Eskom. “I think that will be good for my health,” he said.


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