The leadership crisis at state utility, Eskom, has taken another turn for the worse.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has rejected the Eskom board’s recommendation to replace former CEO Andre de Ruyter, News24 reported.
De Ruyter left Eskom with immediate effect in February 2023. He was replaced by former Chief Financial Officer Calib Cassim who is currently the acting CEO of the embattled state-owned enterprise.
The reason for the rejection
The Eskom board only provided Gordhan with one name as an option for the CEO position.
Gordhan rejected the sole recommendation based on the fact that three candidates should have been short-listed.
Gordhan’s spokesperson, Ellis Mnyandu spoke to News24 and confirmed this and noted that the short-listing requirement was part of Eskom’s Memorandum of Incorporation.
Earlier this week it was reported that Cassim will face some tough questions over his alleged involvement in a security contract with Fidelity.
The contract with Fidelity was for three months and was created by former head of security, Karen Pillay.
Pillay has since been suspended from Eskom.
The security contract in question was signed by De Ruyter and former COO Jan Oberholzer. Both parties allegedly accepted the deviation from their payment policy to allow for the contract to be implemented.
Pillay wrote a letter to Cassim when he was the CFO and requested that he allow for the deviation of Eskom’s payment policy, City Press reported.
The deviation meant Eskom would be able to pay Fidelity more quickly than the usual 60-day payment period.
Fidelity’s invoice amounted to more than R250 million.
Normally contracts with Eskom valued at R100 million should be paid within 60 days, according to the state utility’s payment policy.
With regard to the Fidelity contract, Pillay asked that Eskom pay the company within a week or two.
Cassim allegedly approved this request by Pillay, but Oberholzer and De Ruyter also supported the deviation request.