Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has warned that former executives who were fired at Eskom are involved in a fightback campaign.

Eskom has in the recent past axed former executives, and this year it hastened the departure of 10 executives.

More people are to follow in the clean-up at Eskom, said the power utility.

Gordhan told Parliament’s joint committees on public enterprises and energy yesterday that despite all the efforts to clean up the power utility, executives who had been axed were fighting back.

Without naming anyone, Gordhan said some of the executives were known to MPs.

“The fightback campaign is quite widespread. In the institutions where malfeasance took place, you have elements who left and have met with certain political forces,” said Gordhan.

“Former managers (of Eskom) who left must come and explain their conduct There are former managers at Eskom who are still trying to call the shots at Eskom. You know some of them, they appeared before you,” Gordhan told MPs.

This was confirmed by Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza, who said this was a “serious issue”.

“There is a concerted fightback by those executives we have dismissed. The fight we are dealing with is more solid than normal transgressions one deals with in disciplinary hearings,” he said.

Mabuza said the executives who were fired from Eskom still had their tentacles in the power utility.

Eskom chief executive Phakama Hadebe said it would take two years to clean up the power utility. He said one of the things they would do was tighten financial controls in order to avoid irregular expenditure, which ran into billions of rand.

Hadebe added that they were working with the Hawks, the Special Investigating Unit, the National Prosecuting Authority, the National Treasury and the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on the corruption at Eskom.

They wanted to get to the bottom of the corruption that took place over the years and were co-operating with all the law enforcement agencies.

Apart from the 10 executives who were fired at Eskom, they had opened 11 criminal cases with the police, said Hadebe.

They had instituted more than 1000 disciplinary cases against staff members since April and finalised 628 of those cases.

Hadebe said they had dismissed 75 officials from Eskom and taken action against 25 staff members doing business with Eskom.

Eskom has investigated all irregular contracts and cancelled five of those, which had cost Eskom R2.3billion in the past three years.

The chairperson of the portfolio committee on energy, Fikile Majola, said they had heard of the fightback and urged Eskom to investigate it.

Political Bureau