Shocking move by Eskom – Independent panel to tackle crime, what’s really going on behind closed doors?
Eskom will appoint an independent panel to tackle crime. Its first task is to investigate allegations made by its former CEO, André de Ruyter. According to The Citizen, the state-owned utility announced this news during a Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts hearing, which was grilling Eskom’s board and executives over allegations of corruption, theft, and sabotage at the company. Eskom board chairperson Mpho Makwana said De Ruyter had left his position earlier than expected because he had brought the company into disrepute following his eNCA interview. Makwana also stated that the interview had made it seem as if Eskom had not done anything to address some of the challenges plaguing the power utility.
According to Makwana, the independent panel will revisit previous internal investigations to determine whether the board requires further action. Eskom’s chief executive for transmission, Segomoco Scheepers, informed the committee that the power utility was unaware of the private intelligence investigation initiated by De Ruyter, and the company did not own the private investigation’s report.
Also read: Ramokgopa reports Eskom taking action on Medupi plant
During the hearing, ANC MP Bheki Hadebe questioned why the current board let De Ruyter go “prematurely” without getting detailed information from him on the allegations he made. Makwana responded that the Eskom board acted in the best interests of the power utility in telling De Ruyter to leave earlier, and the truth about the allegations would come out through the investigative process that the company would be embarking on.
However, Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Benedicta van Minnen accused the Eskom board of evading questions on what the company was doing to investigate De Ruyter’s allegations besides the ongoing law enforcement investigations. Makwana replied that the issues were not an Eskom matter, and the company was not a law enforcement agency. Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa disagreed with Makwana’s response, stating that as De Ruyter was Eskom’s CEO, it was the company’s responsibility to investigate the allegations.
Former Eskom interim board chairperson Malegapuru Makgoba told Scopa that the issues around the intelligence gathering exercise were regarded as “operational matters.” He added that De Ruyter decided to investigate independently, without involving his executives, due to “leaks and low trust.”
Relief at last: Eskom restores power after 11-day blackout in parts of Mahikeng!
Picture: Twitter / koko_matshela