Cape Town – Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) John Steenhuisen says Eskom “will never be fixed” until South Africans “know who and what is breaking it”, adding that it is important for Parliament to probe allegations of corruption at the power utility.
According to News24, Steenhuisen brought a motion to the National Assembly on Thursday for an ad-hoc committee to be established, so that allegations of corruption at Eskom could be investigated.
“The fact is, only a parliamentary inquiry can give a proper platform and protection to those innocent people who know what is happening at Eskom, and who have been threatened and subdued into silence by the connected syndicates that extend right into the upper reaches of government.
A draft resolution by DA leader John Steenhuisen was debated to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate the full extent of the alleged widespread corruption and criminal networks and cartels at Eskom. Steenhuisen elaborates.https://t.co/jzvVIkRRjQ#Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/cPhDdvGHOm
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) March 16, 2023
“They need the full protection of a parliamentary inquiry if we are to know the truth. And given De Ruyter’s poisoning, there is clearly a determined effort to stop the truth from coming out. Make no mistake, the allegations are serious. They are made in intelligence reports containing detailed information gathered by private investigators,” the report quoted him as saying.
In an interview with eNCA, Eskom’s former CEO Andre De Ruyter alleged that the company is a feeding trough for the ANC.
“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.
He said that when he approached a minister to report a high-level politician involved in corruption, this particular minister said, “I guess it was inevitable that it would come out anyway”.
He added that the politician was still acting as a member of parliament.
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The Citizen reported that Steenhuisen was backed by fellow DA member Ghaleb Cachalia.
“Any absence of such [an investigation] will allow the criminality to continue unabated. We all know that while this continues, the utility cannot be fixed and in the absence of such fixes, load shedding is here to stay,” Cachalia said, according to the report.
According to Times Live, Steenhuisen identified former deputy president David Mabuza as the cabinet member allegedly involved in corruption at Eskom.
“We all know who this person being referred to is. It’s Mr DD Mabuza and we all know how connected he is within the ANC, and we all know how terrified the ANC is of him (De Ruyter) releasing this information. That is the reality here today,” said Steenhuisen ending a debate where ANC MPs rejected his request for an ad hoc committee.
“The ANC is going to wait until he is safely in Russia like it waited with the Guptas to be in Dubai and Mr Agrizzi to be in Italy before this parliament slowly gets off and does anything,” the report quoted Steenhuisen as saying.
The ANC, however, argued that no special ad hoc committee was necessary, Daily Maverick reported.
Committees’ normal oversight was sufficient, said ANC MP Mikateko Mahlaule, while fellow ANC MP Jabulile Mkhwanazi said De Ruyter’s “allegations should be treated as sour grapes”.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu