Hawks launch investigation into senior politicians named by De Ruyter in Eskom corruption reports

The Directory for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) has acknowledged the allegations made by former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter in the Fivaz reports, which claim that high-profile politicians are connected to criminal cartels and corruption at Eskom. While the reports mention the names of senior politicians, the Hawks stress the importance of evidence and are launching a comprehensive investigation. The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has also confirmed the presence of these politicians’ names in the reports but is waiting for thorough investigations to conclude before making any public accusations. Both agencies are scrutinising contracts awarded by Eskom and seeking to uncover wrongdoing related to procurement, corruption, and other criminal activities at the power utility company.

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Hawks acknowledge De Ruyter’s allegations against senior politicians — launch investigation

By Myles Illidge

The Directory for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) — also known as the Hawks — has confirmed that the intelligence reports commissioned by former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter contain the names of senior politicians.

However, it added that the report’s findings must be backed by evidence, and the DPCI is launching a full investigation into the matter to get answers.

Known as the Fivaz reports, the intelligence supported De Ruyter’s claims that networks of criminal cartels and mafias tied to high-profile politicians are involved in sabotage and corruption at Eskom.

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Andy Mothibi, head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), confirmed that the names of senior politicians are mentioned in the Fivaz reports while reporting findings to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Tuesday, 12 September.

“The question was whether there were senior politicians mentioned in the report,” said Mothibi.

“In going through the report, there are names mentioned, but at this stage, we would like to allow the investigations to unfold before we undergo a legal risk of mentioning the names before the investigation is thoroughly completed.”

Coincidentally, the SIU’s refusal to accuse someone publicly without being thoroughly investigated is the same justification De Ruyter gave when refusing to name names earlier this year.

Following the investigation, the SIU head said it would mention names once there is a finding that was “appropriately processed”.

“At that part, the DPCI, in conjunction with us [the SIU], will ultimately conclude the investigation, and where appropriate, the names will be made known,” said Mothibi.

Mothibi said the SIU, during its perusal of the Fivaz reports, identified 50 additional entities that were awarded contracts from Eskom.

“Information relating to contracts awarded to these entities has been requested, and once the information is received, the SIU will develop a database wherein certain patterns will emerge,” he said.

The SIU will look to answer several questions through its investigation into these contracts, including:

  • What goods or services are being procured and at which power station?
  • At what price are the goods or services being procured?
  • What procurement strategy was used (emergency, single source, quotation, or open tender)?
  • Who are the Eskom employees involved?
  • Who are the suppliers, and when were they registered as vendors?
  • Who are the common actors in the companies and Eskom?

“We will seek to terminate contracts unlawfully awarded and seek to recover the monies that Eskom would have lost,” Mothibi added.

The Hawks’ perusal of the Fivaz reports, which comprised 348 individual intelligence reports, including 23 liaison reports across 1,150 pages, revealed that certain roleplayers were implicated in multiple incidents.

Read more: Demand that Hawks boss explain surveillance on whistleblower’s family home

The reports highlighted criminal activities at Eskom and its power stations, including:

  • Direct sabotage
  • Indirect sabotage
  • Procurement fraud and corruption
  • Stock manipulation
  • Fraudulent invoicing
  • Corrupt security officers signing for non-existent deliveries
  • Intimidation
  • Coal mafias orchestrating coal theft

To this end, Mothibi said the SIU had already started investigating contracts at specific power stations.

It highlighted 31 contracts across eight power stations that were awarded to seven companies, some of which have links to one another with common actors.

The contracts, their respective power stations, and the total values for each power station are summarised in the table below.

SIU-identified power station contracts
LocationNumber of contractsValue
Kusile3R42,000,000
Medupi6R15,000,000
Matla5R12,500,000
Kendal5R22,000,000
Arnot4R7,000,000
Tutuka3R4,000,000
Duvha4R3,000,000
Grootvlei1R500,000
Total31R106,000,000

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This article was first published on Mybroadband and was republished with permission