Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said he is leaving South Africa for a while to ensure his safety following an explosive interview exposing crime and corruption at the power utility.
On Wednesday evening, Eskom announced that De Ruyter had left the power utility with immediate effect.
Eskom said the decision followed convening a special Board meeting on 22 February 2023, where it reached a mutual agreement with De Ruyter.
The announcement followed an explosive interview in which De Ruyter exposed widespread crime and corruption at Eskom.
He said there is knowledge and support of corruption at the highest levels of the ruling party and the government.
He slated the ANC, saying the ghosts of Marx and Lenin still haunt the halls of Luthuli House and that they still embarrassingly address each other as comrades.
“When individuals talk to foreign diplomats and investors, the bemusement and confusion with which they leave those meetings create a big problem for South Africa’s credibility,” he said.
De Ruyter also shed light on four criminal cartels in Mpumalanga, which steals around R1 billion a month from Eskom.
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 have extended their tentacles to many Eskom workers who sabotage and vandalise power stations on their behalf.
De Ruyter said they intensified their efforts to fight crime and corruption and have made some inroads in tackling the problems.
However, by closing the taps on billions in proceeds of crime, he did “not make any friends” and put a target on his back.
De Ruyter recently revealed that there was an attempt on his life in December 2022. Doctors found high cyanide levels in his blood after he felt dizzy and disoriented at the office.
Commenting on the poisoning, he said it is difficult to speculate who was behind the attempt on his life. “There is a pretty long list of people with motive,” he said.
His explosive ENCA interview ruffled the feathers of many powerful people who will put a further target on his back.
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,” the former Eskom CEO said.