No political will to fight criminality at Eskom

Issued by Benedicta van Minnen MP and Ghaleb Cachalia MP –
10 May 2023 in News

Despite looming stages of double digit load-shedding, there is an alarming absence of urgency in addressing the criminality at Eskom, and a clear attempt to undermine and minimise the allegations made by De Ruyter.

The briefing Scopa received on 09/05/23 to address matters brought to light by former Group Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter, who initiated a private investigation within the entity and who met almost a year ago, on the 4th of June 2022 and 5 July 2022, with the various agencies and Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Mr Pravin Gordhan, amounted to a damp squib.

The fact is, De Ruyter’s report to SCOPA detailed precise allegations and the fact that SAPS police chief Fannie Masemola was present at the 4 June meeting and admitted that SAPS established a centralised team including the uniform branch, special forces and investigators from both the SAPS and Hawks June 2022.

Either the National Police Commissioner is, for reasons known best to himself, concealing the extent of his knowledge from Scopa, or has a memory problem.

Instead of addressing the concerns raised several times in the last year, including the potential involvement of a senior politician in ongoing looting of the entity, circular arguments were pursued by the agencies regarding the format of the report received from Mr De Ruyter.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele on his part, expectedly, and despite protestations of “huge political will” attempted to deflect responsibility by downplaying the role of sabotage at Eskom and highlighting technical factors. He also claimed ignorance of the private investigation led by Eskom, which raises questions about his department’s commitment to tackling corruption which shows that “huge” is not always better.

Despite compelling evidence of malfeasance, it is evident that the interventions thus far have been inadequate. What is even more concerning is the apparent politically motivated ignorance of events leading to the current situation and a reluctance to engage with the one man who has consistently reported these issues to law enforcement agencies.

Minister Pravin Gordhan, and the National Security Adviser, Dr Sydney Mufamadi were privy to these allegations but do not seem motivated to pursue the matter – the DA demands to know why.

All of this raises the question of who is being protected and by whom, notwithstanding President Cyril Ramaphosa’s absurd comment that he doesn’t know, and doesn’t plan to find out, which politician allegedly looted Eskom.

The DA remains steadfast in ensuring accountability and is committed to expediting the process of bringing those responsible for loadshedding to justice. South Africans demand the investigation, conviction and incarceration of those responsible, and the DA is dedicated to fulfilling that demand.