National security adviser refuses to give Scopa the names of politician fingered by De Ruyter

Dr Sydney Mufamadi. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Dr Sydney Mufamadi. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 29, 2023


Cape Town - National security adviser Dr Sydney Mufamadi has refused to furnish Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) with the names of the politicians fingered by Eskom’s former chief executive André de Ruyter as being responsible for the corruption at the power utility.

During his virtual engagement with Scopa on Friday, Mufamadi, who was accompanied by his lawyer Azar Bham SC, said naming the politicians would both undermine any investigation into the matter and be an injustice to the people named.

Appearing before Scopa in April, De Ruyter refused to name the politicians, claiming that he did not want to expose himself to further legal action or risk his own security by naming the individuals.

Mufamadi confirmed to the committee that De Ruyter had briefed him about the private investigation report he had commissioned into corruption, theft, maladministration, cartels and other financial irregularities at Eskom but said he had not been given a physical report.

Mufamadi said: “The nature of the sharing of the report was not the handing over of the actual report. It took the form of De Ruyter telling me. My sense was that (what he told me) was a synoptic presentation of what was contained in the report.”

As to whether he had shared the report with President Cyril Ramaphosa,

Mufamadi said: “I’d like to say that if there was a hope that I would take the report to the president, such a hope was not expressed to me.

“There was no report given to me, which I would then carry and hand over to the president.”

Mufamadi said he had advised De Ruyter to share his investigation’s findings with law enforcement agencies.

“When names are mentioned in a context such as the one we are referring to, the advice that is given by me will say please interact with law enforcement agencies.

“You expect that once investigations take place, once investigators are satisfied that they have verified everything they need to verify, they will need to make a determination on who needs to be informed.”

Mufamadi was answering questions put to him by committee member Bheki Hadebe (ANC), who asked him what he knew about De Ruyter’s report.

Back in March it was Hadebe who wrote to Scopa requesting the committee to urgently invite De Ruyter to provide more information regarding the allegations he had made during his eNCA interview aired on February 23.

File picture of committee member Bheki Hadebe (ANC).

Three weeks ago, Eskom’s former interim chairperson, Malegapuru Makgoba, told Scopa that President Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan were aware of De Ruyter’s controversial investigation into corruption at Eskom.

Makgoba said De Ruyter had also informed national security adviser Sydney Mufamadi about corruption and sabotage at Eskom.

During his appearance before the committee two weeks ago, Public Enterprises Minister Gordhan denied Makgoba’s claims.

Gordhan said of Makgoba’s testimony to Scopa: “With respect to him, he has gotten it absolutely wrong and in that sense, Professor Magkoba is misleading and misinforming the public.”

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Cape Argus