Nothing wrong with De Ruyter interview, says Eskom’s legal head

Former CEO André de Ruyter

Former CEO André de Ruyter

Published Jun 21, 2023


Eskom group executive for legal and compliance, Mel Govender, stood her ground on Tuesday on her views that there was nothing in former CEO André de Ruyter’s interview with eNCA that brought the state-owned entity into disrepute.

“My view is that nothing in the interview brought Eskom into disrepute.

“Nothing that was said is completely news to Eskom,” she said.

She made the comment while appearing before the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) during its oversight visit to Eskom’s headquarters.

Scopa is probing the allegations that De Ruyter made in the interview.

Govender said her view was that Eskom should have focused on recovering losses and taken action against suppliers and employees that were involved in wrongdoing.

She told Scopa there were no grounds to take legal action against De Ruyter following the interview and the book he has since published.

“That is where I would like to focus my attention from a legal perspective and governance perspective.

That is what I have been directing on the side.

“In terms of the book, individuals may have recourse for legal action if they want to pursue a long drawn-out defamation case.”

Govender said her advice to the company secretary was that Eskom should focus “our limited resources on how we improve our current governance”.

She, however, noted that Eskom had been lacking in terms of leaking confidential information.

“Some of the information that was shared in the book regarding board meetings, etcetera, while individuals were named, I think they are questionable.

“It was risky to include some of the information and I assume he sought legal advice before doing so. Personally, as a general counsel at Eskom, I wouldn’t advise Eskom to pursue any form of legal action,” said Govender, who will be leaving Eskom at the end of the month.

Former board chairperson, Malegapuru Makgoba, previously told Scopa that De Ruyter undertook an operational matter because Eskom at the time was besieged with sabotage and corruption as they were not getting mileage from the law enforcement agencies.

Cape Times