Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said the billions stolen from Eskom by corrupt officials and criminal bosses are going into very conspicuous consumption.
Speaking to ENCA, he said organised crime cartels steal around R1 billion per month from the power utility.
“We know of at least four organised crime cartels operating in Mpumalanga operating in Eskom,” he said.
He said it shows that crime and corruption at Eskom are deeply entrenched and highly organised.
The criminal networks have extended their tentacles to many Eskom workers who sabotage and vandalise power stations on their behalf.
He said the perpetrators of crime and corruption at Eskom often publicly flaunt their ill-gotten gains.
“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.”
De Ruyter said that the extent to which the crime of known, local officials either condone it or turn a blind eye.
“That suggests to me that there are politicians, by knowing, who are complicit,” he said.
“If you look at a town like Standerton, there is a very well-organised racket operating which feeds off the Tutuka power station. Breakages are engineered.”
It is also the power station where the play manager walks around with a bulletproof vest and is accompanied by armed guards.
“Somehow, we have started to accept that it is normal. Clearly, it is not.”