Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan, has denied allegations that Eskom is a feeding trough for the governing party, as stated by former CEO, Andre de Ruyter, in a TV interview.
Minister Gordhan has, however, conceded that there have been instances where there’s been a link between the investment arm of the ANC, Chancellor House, and some projects at the parastatal.
“There have been instances where there’s been a link and one can’t deny that, between institutions like Chancellor House and some of the projects that have been undertaken.”
“There certainly needs to be a separation between the state and the party,” said Gordhan.
The minister appeared before Parliament’s Standing Committee (Scopa) to give his account of the corruption allegations de Ruyter has made.
The former CEO also claimed that he is aware of four organised crime cartels operating at Eskom in Mpumalanga.
While Minister Gordhan admitted that indeed Mpumalanga is a crime scene, he says there is nothing new in what the former Eskom boss said.
“There are a lot of actors both outside of Eskom and within Eskom who are collaborating to undermine procurement and other processes, supply counterfeit parts and do a poor job in terms of maintenance of units when they have outages.
“All of that is done to ensure that they get more work and make more money.”
He says there a huge collective effort is required to counter the corruption at the ailing power utility.
Gordhan has also denied that he is the senior government official who allegedly instructed de Ruyter to turn a blind eye to the corruption taking place at the parastatal.
“I was shocked at the interview done with eNCA and its contents. Someone sent me a clip and I forwarded the clip to de Ruyter, expecting a response.
“No response came to the best of my recollection.”
The public enterprises’ minister also hit back at some of the allegations made by de Ruyter in his newly published book titled “Truth to Power”.
Standing Committee on Public Accounts, 11 May 2023 https://t.co/wAAagS9v7K
— Parliament of RSA (@ParliamentofRSA) May 17, 2023
He says the former CEO could have used his book to show some remorse.
“He goes into personal descriptions of all sorts, I hear, I haven’t read the book. Is it necessary to give an account of what you did or didn’t do at an institution like Eskom, in order to explain to people why Eskom is where it is today, after three years of his stint there, ” Gordhan said.
The minister told members of Parliament that If you are in charge the buck stops with you.
He believes de Ruyter has showed poor accountability and is playing the hero while he paints everyone else as a fool.
“If you are in charge you must show a sense of responsibility and if you haven’t accomplished your mission show a sense of remorse. I’m sorry South Africa I tried my best, I couldn’t do better than what I did.”
In his new book Andre De Ruyter says he was shocked to see so many junior Eskom employees clutched Louis Vuitton handbags, equivalent to a month’s salary, and decked out in branded Hermes dresses, Panerai watches and Christian Louboutin shoes pic.twitter.com/PfQwc8NovX
— The Instigator (@Am_Blujay) May 14, 2023
Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza