Andre de Ruyter, Group Chief Executive of state-owned power utility Eskom speaks during a media briefing in Johannesburg, South Africa, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Andre de Ruyter, Group Chief Executive of state-owned power utility Eskom speaks during a media briefing in Johannesburg, South Africa, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

Scopa halts inquiry into allegations made against Eskom CEO

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Apr 7, 2021

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Cape Town - The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has halted its inquiry into allegations made against Eskom CEO André de Ruyter.

This comes after the power utility appointed advocate Ishmael Semenya, SC, to probe allegations of racism and abuse against De Ruyter last week.

Last month, Scopa had stopped its meeting over the annual report of Eskom after it received allegations from chief procurement officer Solly Tshitangano.

It emerged that Tshitangano, who was suspended as the entity was accounting to the watchdog body on its finance and expected to make an appearance, had lodged a complaint with board chairperson Malegapuru Makgoba.

At the time, Makgoba told lawmakers that the board was aware and had been informed by senior management that Tshitangano had been suspended.

“As it stands, we are in a disciplinary investigation process against the CPO. I urge that we all observe this internal process and await its outcome,” Makgoba added.

He confirmed that he received Tshitingano’s complaint in February last year and referred it to the executive and Eskom’s internal complaints procedure.

This had prompted MPs to call for a parliamentary inquiry into the allegations.

Briefing the committee on Wednesday, Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said they had begun the spadework in preparation for the inquiry.

Hlengwa also said he had received correspondence from Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan indicating that Eskom has instituted an investigation into the matters raised by Tshitangano and that they were requesting the parliamentary process to be suspended.

He said he did not respond to Gordhan and would do so after the committee into his correspondence.

Committee members noted that Eskom had not acted against allegations made against the CEO until Scopa instituted an investigation.

They agreed to halt their probe and wait for the outcome of the Eskom probe.

Hlengwa said the committee was in agreement to suspend their investigation in order for Eskom to do what it was supposed to do 14 months ago.

He said he hoped that the exercise was not malicious compliance on the part of Eskom on the matter.

“It is completely unacceptable for government departments and entities to sit on a matter,” Hlengwa said.

Political Bureau

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