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After interviewing Medupi GM Roman Crookes (right) last February, I was encouraged. Despite the heavy hemorrhaging of professional talent at Eskom – replaced by deployed cadres – all was not lost. Here was an engineer whose honesty instilled confidence. Despite the financial shenanigans, strikes and other disruptions, Crookes came across as a project leader coping well despite the curve balls thrown at him. So last night’s news that he has left “to pursue other interests” is disheartening. Even more so, Eskom’s spin that he won’t be missed. There is a massive difference between authentic leadership and simply giving someone a title. Dressing someone in a general’s uniform doesn’t automatically make them one. Eskom cannot afford to lose a leader like Crookes, especially not half way through such a critical project. Its board should have refused his resignation and moved heaven and earth to ensure he stuck around to finish the assignment. Or, if his departure was because of incompetence, to have spelled it out rather than letting a nervous nation assume the worst. – Alec Hogg
By Fadia Salie
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.