South Africa

Two ministers implicated in Eskom corruption probe

Two ministers are implicated in an Eskom corruption investigation and have been reported to Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, The City Press reported.

Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter launched the intelligence-driven private investigation in 2022 using money from donations.

Rapport said De Ruyter launched the private investigation because of the poor support from official law enforcement agencies.

According to the reports, the implicated cabinet members cover their tracks exceptionally well to avoid detection.

They allegedly use trusted partners and distant family members to funnel the ill-gotten gains to themselves.

When Gordhan was asked about De Ruyter reporting the corrupt ministers to him, he did not deny that it happened.

Instead, he said he despised corruption and that the Eskom board must now investigate De Ruyter’s allegations.

These revelations follow an explosive ENCA interview where De Ruyter said Eskom is a feeding trough for the ANC,

He said there is knowledge and support for corruption at the highest levels of the ruling party and the government.

He said he approached a senior minister, which has now been revealed as Gordhan, 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.

He explained that there is a connection between theft, sabotage, procurement irregularities, and local and national politics.

“There is very little explanation for the very vociferous opposition to starting the just energy transition,” he said.

De Ruyter added that the ANC wants what will win them the next election, not keep the country going for the next two decades.

“There is a narrative that the state should control everything. The ghosts of Marx and Lenin still haunt the halls of Luthuli House,” he said.

“They still address one another as comrades – which is, frankly, embarrassing. They use words like Lumpenproletariat, which is ridiculous.”

Attacks on De Ruyter after interview

Pravin Gordhan
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan

De Ruyter faced attacks following the interview where he exposed ANC corruption at Eskom and embarrassing behind-the-scenes information.

Eskom Chairman Mpho Makwana said De Ruyter behaved “reprehensibly”, adding that he hadn’t discussed the majority of his allegations with the board.

Makwana said he spent his time “chasing renewables” rather than focusing on fixing existing coal plants and avoided a performance review by resigning just before it.

ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula threatened to take legal action against De Ruyter for his allegations that senior ANC members were involved in Eskom corruption.

Mbalula questioned De Ruyters’ political position, adding that he had right-wing leanings, failed at his Eskom duties, and acted repulsively during the interview.

Gordhan attacked De Ruyter for “meddling” in politics instead of focusing on ending load-shedding.

“Where they have political views, that is their private business, and they are welcome to express those views privately,” Gordhan said.

He downplayed De Ruyter’s allegations that little is done to combat corruption and theft at Eskom and that senior officials continue to loot.

“Lots of people have been reported to the law enforcement authorities for alleged involvement in acts of corruption or fraud,” he said.

Gordhan told Sunday Times he was blindsided by the man who he trusted and supported for three years.

National police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe has also slated De Ruyter’s criticism of the police and their investigation into his alleged poisoning.

De Ruyter gone

Eskom Chairman Mpho Makwana

On Wednesday evening, shortly after the ENCA interview aired, Eskom announced that De Ruyter had left the power utility with immediate effect following a special board meeting.

“The Eskom Board and Group Chief Executive (GCE) Andrè de Ruyter have reached a mutual agreement to curtail his notice period to 28 February 2023,” Eskom said.

“The board further resolved that De Ruyter will not be required to serve the balance of his notice period but that he will be released from his position with immediate effect.”

On Friday, Eskom announced the appointment of Calib Cassim as Interim Group CEO with immediate effect. Cassim will lead the Eskom management team until further notice.

De Ruyter said during the interview that he would be leaving 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,” the former Eskom CEO said.


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