Hawks not yet probing politicians fingered in Eskom corruption

The South African Police Service’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, has yet to launch an investigation into former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter’s claims that high-level politicians are involved in corruption at the state-owned power utility. This was revealed by Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya during a Scopa meeting, despite De Ruyter having informed an unnamed minister and presidential security adviser Dr Sydney Mufamadi of the alleged involvement of two cabinet members in organized crime and corruption at Eskom. De Ruyter has also claimed that he shared his findings with senior members of the South African Police Service and the State Security Agency, but “nothing happened.”


Hawks say no politicians being investigated over Eskom corruption

By Myles Illidge

The South African Police Service’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation — the Hawks — has yet to begin investigating former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter’s allegation that senior politicians are involved in corruption at the state-owned power utility.

This is according to Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya (pictured), who was responding to a question from Democratic Alliance MP and Scopa member Robert Alfred Lees.

Lees used the example of fraud-accused former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste to describe the speed of previous investigations as “glacial”.

“Is any one of your command structures investigating the involvement of any politicians in the affairs or malfeasance of Eskom?” Lees asked during a Scopa meeting on 9 May 2023.

“With regards to the investigations of politicians relating to Eskom matters, we do not have,” said Lebeya.

This came after De Ruyter’s explosive interview on My Guest Tonight with Annika Larson when he gave his perspective on the root causes of Eskom’s continued struggle with corruption and the poor performance of its generating fleet.

He revealed that he told an unnamed minister that a high-level ANC politician was complicit in the cartel activities.

Read more: Eskom pales in comparison to downfall of SAPS and NPA – Saunderson-Meyer

“The minister looked at a senior official and said, ‘I guess that it was inevitable that it would come out anyway’, which suggests that this wasn’t news,” De Ruyter said.

A few days later, it was reported that the former CEO had informed Minister Gordhan about the suspected involvement of two cabinet members in organised crime and corruption at Eskom.

Instead of denying these claims, Gordhan, who had largely supported De Ruyter in the public domain until then, ripped into the former CEO.

“What Mr De Ruyter effectively said was that all of us in government are idiots, and that stirred the backlash,” said Gordhan.

“He did not pay the attention to Eskom’s generation that he should have, and instead swanned around the world looking at renewables.”

Andre de Ruyter

Lebeya also told Scopa that the Hawks are still awaiting a response from De Ruyter’s lawyer regarding the allegations after the former CEO refused to speak to police.

He says De Ruyter was approached by the Hawks’ Mpumalanga head the day following the interview.

“Mr De Ruyter declined to meet the officer but referred him to his lawyer, who promised to talk to the officer, but unfortunately, the promise to come back to the provincial head did not materialise,” Lebeya said.

However, during his interview with Annika Larsen, De Ruyter said high-level Eskom officials met with senior members of the South African Police Service and State Security Agency (SSA) representatives.

“We shared chapter and verse what we found,” De Ruyter said.

“The generals and SSA colleagues were suitably aghast and said, ‘This is completely unacceptable, of course, we will immediately start acting on this.’ And then, nothing happened.”

Read more: The Eskom basket case: R200,000 mop and R80,000 knee guards, thank goodness for the FM turnaround

De Ruyter has also appeared before Scopa following his interview, where he confirmed that he had reported the suspected involvement of two high-ranking officials in corruption at the state-owned power utility to public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

He also said that he provided the names to presidential security adviser Dr Sydney Mufamadi.

De Ruyter refused to name or identify the allegedly corrupt high-ranking politicians, citing concerns for his safety.

“Regarding the identity of the minister concerned, I think that this is a question which I would see falling within the ambit of potential security risks that could arise from such disclosure,” De Ruyter said.

“Ask Minister Gordhan and Dr Mufamadi because they were informed. They are aware.”

The Hawks are investigating three cases involving De Ruyter, including the alleged poisoning incident in mid-December 2022.

The second case relates to a complaint from Build One South Africa leader Mmusi Maimane against De Ruyter for failing to report a crime, and the third surrounds a report containing corruption allegations that De Ruyter submitted to police in late April 2023.

Read more: Eskom’s ‘big lie’ about power station breakdowns – age is not the culprit

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

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