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Security experts demand Eskom whistle-blower is protected after death threats

An Eskom logo is seen at the entrance of their head offices in Sunninghill, Sandton, February 24, 2016. South Africa's energy regulator Nersa said on Wednesday it had postponed a decision on tariffs charged by state-run power utility Eskom to March 1 from Feb 25 as it seeks further clarity on diesel costs. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

An Eskom logo is seen at the entrance of their head offices in Sunninghill, Sandton, February 24, 2016. South Africa's energy regulator Nersa said on Wednesday it had postponed a decision on tariffs charged by state-run power utility Eskom to March 1 from Feb 25 as it seeks further clarity on diesel costs. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Published Aug 8, 2023

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Johannesburg - In the wake of startling revelations by a former Eskom forensic manager about death threats she received after her work uncovered the dealings of cartels operating within the power utility, crime and security experts have called on law enforcement agencies to protect her at all costs.

Dorothy Mmushi detailed a number of interviews how she had uncovered criminal syndicates stealing billions from the power utility.

Despite reporting these to Eskom, her pleas allegedly fell on deaf ears. However, she had recently received a call where an alleged hitman claimed to have been paid a R50 000 deposit for her assassination.

He claimed he would get the balance after killing her.

Calvin Rafadi, a crime and security expert who has investigated the ongoings at Eskom for some time, said revelations by Mmushi came as no surprise to them, as the issues and shenanigans taking place at Eskom had been a problem for a number of years already.

Rafadi explained that crime experts had for a long time announced that the issues at Eskom derived from the procurement area involving local purchase orders, informal tendering and even with big tenders.

“Everybody wants to get their hands in that cookie jar and that is where the main corruption is at, along with the acts of sabotage. People sabotage power stations knowing that they will be the supplier of those particular components to the point where they end up not buying the original parts called Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM parts).

“At the end of the day, we must say this has been an ongoing crime for quite some time and I am glad that the lady has come out to prove what we have been singing, that there is so much shenanigans and protecting of one another in the forensic, legal and security departments at Eskom,” he said.

Rafadi said this was a big problem, which, if it not addressed by the relevant law enforcement authorities, could see the country battling to get the power utility functional or make any progress with load shedding.

He explained that investigating the crime taking place at Eskom was a risky business as the various departments within the power utility chose which cases got to see the light of day and which ones were attended to.

In fact, he said this was not the first time employees at Eskom had raised alarm bells about threats being levelled against them and nothing was done by the relevant departments.

The security expert said in the past, they had reported that there were managers who moved from the procurement department located at the Eskom head office in Sunninghill to the power stations, especially those in Mpumalanga, who ended up receiving threats upon sitting on committees for adjudication and tendering.

“After these employees sat for the committee they would get a lousy roadblock outside the power station or the offramp where people point guns at them and tell them who to award the tender to and that failure to do that, they knew where their children attend school. Many employees report this to Eskom and the HR department yet they do not give them support.

“As an employee of Eskom, the lady now has reported and crime intelligence should be brought in to do a threat analysis and provide security to her as her life is in danger and the matters she is raising are in relation to her employer.”

Rafadi also pleaded with companies that funded the George Fivas report to direct their funds into helping Mmushi to get private security should she wish to, as she had valuable information.

The Star

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Eskom