Cape Town — The allegation of corruption at Eskom brought forward by its former CEO, Andre De Ruyter was reportedly no secret to board members, ministers Pravin Gordhan, Gwede Mantashe as well as President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Sources alleged that the cartels had been in operation before De Ruyter joined the company.
According to Mail and Guardian, the new board had also been alerted to the allegations of corruption but was unable to act on it due to political pressure.
The cartels in operation — according to the source — were a “known secret within the management of the utility”.
“De Ruyter just blew the lid open. This cartel business has been in the utility way before he joined, even during the times of the former CEOs,” the source was quoted as saying.
Another source indicated that the situation at Eskom was “a mess”.
“Everyone is running around like madmen. It is a mess, and threats are following, people are planning to jump ship because they are implicated somehow. Many are planning to leave the country for the safety of their families, it’s a mess.”
ALSO READ | Govt ‘most concerned’ about De Ruyter’s claims – Ramaphosa
IOL cited News24 as saying that it appeared that De Ruyter briefed minister Gordhan and Ramaphosa’s national security advisor, Sydney Mufamadi, on two occasions.
De Ruyter reportedly told them about the corruption at Eskom and the people behind it.
But presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said Mufamadi denied ever being told about these individuals or their names.
During an interview with eCNA, De Ruyter was asked if Eskom was a feeding trough for the ANC, and he said that it was.
“I would say the evidence suggests that it is. I expressed my concern to a senior government minister about attempts, in my view, to water down governance around the 8.5 billion USD that, by in large through Eskom’s intervention, we got at COP26.
“And the response was essentially, ‘you have to be pragmatic. In order to pursue the greater good, you have to enable some people to eat a little bit,'” De Ruyter said.
ALSO READ | Action SA believes De Ruyter’s affidavit proves ANC ‘is to blame for energy crisis’
Speaking to SABC News, Special Investigation Unit (SIU) spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said that the information put forward to the public by De Ruyter has made the matter an interest to the SIU.
Kganyago said that despite having previous discussions with De Ruyter, the former CEO did not disclose the involvement of other ministers in the corruption at the power utility.
“We’ve had engagements with the former CEO of Eskom from the beginning. When he arrived we had a meeting where we were briefing him on all these investigations and we had frequent engagements with him, but I can safely tell you now that he never told us about these ministers that are supposed to be involved in this,” Kganyago said.
“But now that it is in the public domain, it is of interest to us because we are investigating under a proclamation and this is the kind of information that we need to know as the SIU. The head of the SIU Advocate Mothibi has instructed the investigating team in Eskom to call him and make sure that he gives us that information,” he added.
Action SA believed that the answering affidavit submitted by De Ruyter “proves, without any doubt, that the decisions of the ANC-led government, as far back as 1998, are directly to blame for the state of load shedding in which South Africa currently finds itself”.
The sworn affidavit was filed in a load shedding court case between applicants: Action SA, United Democratic Movements, and 17 others and respondents: Eskom Holding SOC Limited and 7 others.
According to ActionSA, the court case sought to declare the government’s response to load shedding as “unconstitutional”.
“The court case by UDM, ActionSA and 17 others seeks to, among others, declare the ANC-led government’s response to load shedding as unconstitutional and breaching a number of fundamental human rights, and ask that certain sectors such as safety and healthcare be exempted from load-shedding,” Action SA said.
“De Ruyter’s affidavit reaffirms ActionSA’s belief that the ANC is a criminal syndicate that is directly responsible for the disaster that is loadshedding. The ANC should be held accountable for plunging the country into darkness, sacrificing our people’s safety and livelihoods as a result,” the party added.
Andre de Ruyter’s damning affidavit regarding #Eskom‘s demise sheds more light on the challenges, #corruption AND government’s direct involvement!
Pres. Ramaphosa’s statement that he hasn’t got “a legal duty to end load-shedding” is completely at odds!https://t.co/qWBo0xVODl
— CGF (@CGFResearch) February 28, 2023
Follow African Insider on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
For more African news, visit Africaninsider.com
Compiled by Junaid Benjamin