The so-called intelligence report commissioned by former Eskom group CEO Andre de Ruyter could not be ignored, but there should be consideration for holding the former power utility boss accountable.
This is the view of Special Investigating Unit head Andy Mothibi when he briefed the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday.
Mothibi and Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya briefed the committee on the report commissioned by De Ruyter last year as part of an inquiry into alleged corruption involving cartels, syndicates and implicated senior politicians at Eskom.
Mothibi said they have obtained the report after they became aware of it on the morning De Ruyter was due to appear before Scopa in April.
“We are of the view that the GCEO was under obligation to report those allegations and he failed to do so.”
The report from George Fivaz Forensic and Risk (GFFR) contained 54 themes of allegations of a criminal nature and 22 fall within the SIU mandate. The Hawks have also analysed the report and made observations on allegations of sabotage of Eskom infrastructure, procurement fraud and corruption, as well as the coal mafia.
Mothibi said they have confirmed that the contract for the Eskom investigation, between GFFR and Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), in January last year, was for a six-month project exploring risk factors that had the potential to disrupt the supply of electricity.
Mothibi said it was an anomaly to them that the contract was for an investigation of “the affairs of Eskom but Eskom is not a party to the contract”.
The contract was valued at R17.1 million and was funded by private individuals and businesses beyond its six-month duration. Neither former police commissioner George Fivaz of GFFR nor BLSA’s Busisiwe Mavuso disclosed the private funders.
According to Mothibi, GFFR was not part of Eskom’s service providers’ database and the power utility did not approve the investigation, pointing to “matters of maladministration”.
He also said the SIU was of the view that the manner in which De Ruyter went about the investigation was not consistent with his office.
“Consideration should be given to holding the GCEO to account.”
Mothibi also said they would consider action that should be taken against GFFR and BLSA.
“We say they should have known that they cannot conduct an investigation in a state institution without necessary authority,” he said.
Mothibi confirmed that the report mentioned names of “senior politicians” but would not name them pending the completion of their investigation.
DA MPs raised concern that the law enforcement agencies were keen to pursue “the messenger” and wanted to know if there were investigations into matters raised in the report.
“I am yet to be convinced what his motivation was but we have great vigour to pursue him (De Ruyter), not the others. Is it because they have connections?” DA MP Alf Lees asked.
Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya confirmed that they were investigating.
“I have assigned a colonel to analyse this information. We have a team that is actually looking at this,” Lebeya said.
When Lees wanted to know the names of politicians named in the Eskom intelligence report and whether former deputy president David Mabuza was among those named, acting Scopa chairperson Sakhumzi Somyo said they should accept the standard practice of law enforcement agencies not to name implicated individuals until they finished their investigations.
“There would be a stage where they would pronounce the names involved in the matter,” Somyo said.