It has been a roller-coaster of a week at the state power utility, Eskom, which was rocked by allegations of massive corruption as the former CEO, André de Ruyter, gave an almost tell-all interview to e.tv.
Eskom announced that De Ruyter would step down immediately from his role as the power utility’s head late on Wednesday evening.
Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha told Talk Radio 702 on Thursday that the board felt De Ruyter had brought the organisation into disrepute when he made several explosive claims in the interview.
In the interview, which aired on Tuesday night, De Ruyter said there was rampant corruption at Eskom and that undisclosed ministers were interfering with operations at the power utility.
He also said the undisclosed leaders from the ANC were aware of corruption that was happening at Eskom and also that the utility served as the ANC’s “feeding trough”.
He also said that funds being stolen from the power utility were going into a very “conspicuous consumption”.
He spoke about organised criminal cartels that were based in Mpumalanga.
Daily Investor reported that the former Eskom CEO said those involved in the corruption at Eskom were not shy about flaunting their wealth, but were able to pass lifestyle audits in a creative way.
According to the former energy boss, there’s a car dealer in Mpumalanga where a person can park a Maserati or McLaren.
“If you feel like driving it, you order it, and it gets delivered to you. This particular car dealer renders a particularly innovative service,” he said.
“This is well-known. We have seen Eskom buyers parading on Facebook with all of their fineries, and when we investigated, it turned out they were corrupt. There is no shame or attempt to hide it.”
The government moved quickly to try to handle the fallout from De Ruyter’s interview, with ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula slamming De Ruyter on Thursday, saying it was unfortunate that he had exposed his right-wing attitude and had opportunistically ventured into the political arena.
“Now that he has exposed his political standing and ideology, he should have stood back and not taken up the position.”
Mbalula has confirmed that they would take De Ruyter to court to prove the allegations he made that the party was corrupt.
Mbalula said De Ruyter must defend his statements in court after he said the ANC was mired in graft allegations at Eskom.
He said the ANC had never sent anyone to steal at Eskom.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe also hit back at De Ruyter,asking him to name and shame ministers allegedly implicated in corruption at Eskom.
Mantashe said the former Eskom CEO’s tactic of dropping allegations wouldn’t work because he had not named anyone.