President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national security adviser, Sydney Mufamadi, has confirmed that former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter gave him the name of high-ranking politicians allegedly involved in corruption at the power utility.
Mufamadi said he was asked by Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan last July to join him in a meeting with de Ruyter at his offices on matters related to corruption at Eskom.
However, he did not want to confirm if during Ramaphosa’s speech in the State of the Nation Address in February he was referring to de Ruyter’s intelligence report, when he spoke of the arrest of 43 people linked to corruption at power stations in Eskom.
He said Ramaphosa received reports from various intelligence structures including defence intelligence, crime intelligence and civilian intelligence.
His role was to advise Ramaphosa on national security matters.
Mufamadi who was appearing before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Friday after de Ruyter said he had briefed him about senior politicians involved in corruption at Eskom, said he had advised de Ruyter to report the cases to law enforcement agencies.
When asked about the names of the politicians, Mufamadi refused to name them saying de Ruyter had given the information to them.
Mufamadi said it was a formal meeting that he had attended with de Ruyter, Gordhan and the latter’s adviser.
“What was said to us was enough to give advice that De Ruyter must interact with law enforcement agencies. I did say from the Presidency we will make sure should law enforcement agencies need support from the Presidency, as they do their work, such support will be forthcoming.
“After that meeting I spoke to the National Commissioner of the SAPS. I found that the police were ahead of the curve because the matters were raised of alleged criminality in power stations in Mpumalanga. The national commissioner said ‘I am in contact with de Ruyter,” said Mufamadi.
He said he did not know what intelligence report Ramaphosa was referring to when he mentioned it in the Sona in relation to arrests at Eskom.
“The president receives reports from intelligence agencies we have, be it defence intelligence, crime intelligence or civilian intelligence. I would not know which report he was citing (in Sona). What I remember is that what was said (by De Ruyter at the meeting in July) was that ‘we commissioned the report’. I did not ask who was commissioned,” said Mufamadi.
This relates to the hiring of former national police commissioner George Fivaz to conduct a private intelligence operation at Eskom in a project funded by big business.
At the meeting de Ruyter went into some details about the levels of corruption at Eskom.
“We were given a sense of the extent of the pervasiveness of the criminality and organised crime taking place in power stations,” said Mufamadi.
He said De Ruyter did give them the names of people who were allegedly involved in this corruption.
This included the names of high-ranking politicians.
Declining to name the politicians implicated by de Ruyter, Mufamadi said: “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 who needs to be informed.
“If I become excitable and start talking about the names of people I will either be doing an injustice to those people or undermining an investigation. I think from where you sit you will understand where I am coming from,” said Mufamadi.
He added that Scopa should check with the National Prosecuting Authority on investigations into these cases.
But from his side he had advised De Ruyter to go to law enforcement agencies and report those cases he was briefing them about on corruption at Eskom.