Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said he could not provide the names of government officials implicated in corruption for fear of legal action.
It formed part of a discussion during his appearance before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa).
Scopa invited De Ruyter to brief the committee following an explosive interview with eNCA in which he made serious allegations against ANC politicians and top government officials.
The former Eskom CEO said that government officials were deeply involved in corrupt activities at Eskom.
He alleged that he informed a cabinet minister of the malfeasance, but nothing came from it. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan confirmed that De Ruyter briefed him.
The committee asked De Ruyter for further details about a cabinet member allegedly involved in corruption. However, he would not divulge these details.
De Ruyter does not want to expose himself to “any further legal action”, particularly during a public forum like the Scopa hearing, he said.
He said a highly litigious environment has already “arisen around Eskom” and his tenure as Eskom CEO.
He told the committee the best way forward is to ask Minister Gordhan and Sydney Mufamadi about these details because they were informed and are aware of all the implicated parties.
“I am not in a position where I have immunity, and, therefore, am unable to make any statement which could potentially put me at risk of legal action – civil or criminal,” he said.
De Ruyter was offered protection in the form of Parliamentary privilege to allow him to identify corrupt officials without fear of legal action, which De Ruyter has denied.
He was offered immunity and the chance to take an oath of affirmation by ANC MP Bheki Hadebe.
“We are willing to provide you with the protection you deserve in order for you to be able to engage freely and help this Parliament and South Africans in general, who are currently faced with stage 6 load-shedding,” Hadebe said.
However, De Ruyter denied this protection, saying his security concerns would still apply.
De Ruyter said he is only there to assist the committee and help improve its oversight.
“Even if I were to enjoy the protection of Parliamentary privilege, the concerns that I have in terms of security would still apply, and therefore I would stand by my answer as I have given it,” he said.
“I would be loathed to expose myself to further legal action, especially in a public forum like this hearing.”