Eskom whistleblower faces assassination threat

In a disturbing revelation, a senior executive at Eskom, the South African state-owned power utility, allegedly offered a hitman a substantial sum of money to assassinate Dorothy Mmushi, a courageous middle manager within Eskom’s forensic department. Mmushi had exposed a network of illicit activities by organised crime syndicates and reported them to the authorities. The hitman, whose conversation with Mmushi was recorded, claimed that her boss was involved in the scheme and had paid him for the assassination. Despite Mmushi’s efforts to seek help from Eskom and law enforcement, her pleas seemingly went unanswered. This incident underscores the dangerous challenges faced by whistleblowers attempting to combat corruption and criminality within Eskom, as evidenced by previous alleged assassination attempts against executives who sought to expose wrongdoing.

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Senior Eskom exec allegedly ordered hit on whistleblower

By Myles Illidge

A senior executive at Eskom allegedly offered a hitman R400,000 to assassinate a middle manager who had exposed looting operations by organised crime syndicates, City Press reports.

The hit was reportedly ordered on Dorothy Mmushi, a middle manager in the state-owned power utility’s forensic department, who had reported a chain of illicit activities to the South African Police Service (Saps).

Mmushi received a phone call — which was recorded — during which an anonymous hitman said he was being paid to kill her.

“I’ve been paid R50,000 already and I’ll get the balance after I kill you,” they said.

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They claimed that one of her colleagues had ordered the hit.

“I need you to understand properly what I’m telling you. Your boss, who works with the people [who’ve paid me], says you’re disturbing them,” City Press quoted the hitman as saying.

“Your boss is eating with these people. There are cases around certain tenders that you’re busy investigating and, my sister, I was supposed to kill you a long time ago.”

He added that a total of three hitmen had been paid to carry out the hit.

Mmushi reported the events to Eskom and the Saps and has been in touch with Hawks boss Godfrey Lebeya.

However, she says Lebeya has failed to “make as little as an attempt to arrest this hitman”, while her reports to Eskom appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

“I’m terrified and shocked. I’m also disappointed in my employer because I laid a grievance, but nothing’s been done to date. I believe the man who called me was warning me of the plot to kill me,” said Mmushi.

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Corruption and criminal activity at Eskom power stations significantly contribute to the power utility’s poor performance and the need for load-shedding.

This isn’t the first alleged assassination attempt of Eskom employees — and executives — who attempt to root out these illicit activities.

In January 2023, former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter claimed he had survived an attempt on his life after an assassin allegedly laced his cup of coffee with poison in mid-December 2022.

André de Ruyter, former Eskom CEO

The alleged assassination attempt happened at Megawatt Park on Tuesday, 13 December 2022 — the day after De Ruyter submitted his resignation as CEO to the Eskom chairman, Mpho Makwana.

However, he noted that his resignation only became public knowledge the day after the poisoning.

De Ruyter detailed the incident in his explosive eNCA interview earlier this year.

“I then asked my personal assistant (PA) for a cup of coffee. She knows I am a caffeine addict and always keeps them coming,” he said.

“My PA left my personalised mug unattended at the coffee machine. She informed me that the machine was broken and offered to make instant coffee,” De Ruyter explained.

“However, by the time she arrived back at the coffee station, the machine had been repaired, and a cup of coffee was presented to me.”

He said the coffee tasted the same as usual, and he didn’t think anything of it. However, he began to feel nauseous, off-balance, and confused shortly after drinking it.

“I was sitting opposite a colleague and could not find the word for ‘power station’. I said it was a filling station and even a petrol station,” said De Ruyter.

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De Ruyter also started to yawn because of a lack of oxygen. “I started gasping for air and realised something was wrong, and I needed to get to a doctor quickly.”

De Ruyter said the vitamin B drip a doctor placed him on as a matter of course probably saved his life.

In November 2022, Eskom revealed that a suspect believed to be involved in a bomb threat against then-COO, Jan Oberholzer, had been arrested.

Oberholzer received the bomb threat from an anonymous and unregistered cellphone number in May 2022.

The Hawks and contracted investigators traced and arrested a 27-year-old suspect — with “overwhelming evidence” reportedly linking the suspect to the crime.

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This article was first published by MyBroadband and is republished with permission