Former Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter. Photo: SA News

Outgoing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter is to leave Eskom with “immediate effect”, Eskom said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening. (Watch the full Andre de Ruyter’s full interview that led to his sudden exit from Eskom.)

This follows an explosive interview which was posted to YouTube by Orca Media, in which De Ruyter spoke about the ongoing corruption by top ANC politicians that he witnessed, estimating that at least R1-billion was being stolen from Eskom each month by criminal syndicates in Mpumalanga, but nobody did anything about it.

“However,” he alleged, “they did see fit to send one of their agents to COP27 to keep an eye on me… Clearly, I am under suspicion of treasonous activity. But the real culprits can act with impunity.”

In the video – titled ‘My Guest Tonight’ – e.TV journalist Annika Larsen, said with De Ruyter’s life at risk, she wanted to record all the details leading up to the CEO resigning in December 2022, and his coffee being poisoned with cyanide to kill him the day after he submitted his resignation (before it was announced to the public).

At the time of the 51-year-old’s resignation in December, the DA suggested a panel of experts should be assigned to solve Eskom’s issues, including “the former CEO who knows more than most what bedevils Eskom”.

Today De Ruyter, as Group Chief Executive (GCE) of Eskom Holdings revealed some of what “bedevils” Eskom… and it appeared to include top ANC officials who are either involved, or are turning a blind eye. Hours later the video was removed from YouTube… But De Ruyter has not been silenced as some snippets from the interview have been posted on Twitter (see below or watch Andre de Ruyter’s full interview here).

On Wednesday evening (22 Feb), Eskom said in a statement:

“Following the convening of a special Board meeting on 22 February 2023, the Eskom Board and Group Chief Executive (GCE) Andrè de Ruyter have reached mutual agreement to curtail his notice period to 28 February 2023.

“The board further resolved that Mr de Ruyter will not be required to serve the balance of his notice period but that he will be released from his position with immediate effect.

“Acting GCE arrangements are being finalized with the shareholder Minister and will be communicated shortly.”

De Ruyter’s revelations included:

  • Eskom is the feeding trough for some members of the ANC government, and the corruption is “entrenched”
  • Some ANC officials at the highest levels are aware of the ongoing corruption at Eskom
  • He “pointed out” to a cabinet minister “that there was one particular high-level politician that was involved in this” (allegedly a current Member of Parliament), and the cabinet minister responded, by turning to another senior official, and said: “I guess it was inevitable that this would come out anyway”… showing the ANC appear to be aware of the corrupt MP’s identity
  • How he was told by the minister to be “pragmatic” and  “enable some people to eat a little bit”
  • He accused Pravin Gordhan of micromanagement

WATCH short snippets of the Andre de Ruyter interview

In these snippets, De Ruyter suggests Eskom would be better off without public enterprises minister Gordhan, and says the ANC’s use of language is stuck in Soviet Era politics and is embarrassing for South Africa.

Pravin Gordhan responds to De Ruyter interview:

Gordhan criticised De Ruyter for “meddling” in politics and said he should have been focusing on bringing an end to load-shedding (power cuts).

Gordhan said: “What’s important is that CEOs of any entity, including Eskom, should not be involved in open political debates or assertions, and where they have political views, that is their private business and they are welcome to express those views privately.”

DA to submit urgent request for information on corrupt minister

DA Leader John Steenhuisen said the DA is drawing up an urgent request to Eskom management in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

“The purpose of this request is to obtain all information and evidence at Eskom’s disposal regarding the alleged ANC kingpin behind the systemic corruption that has brought our country’s electricity supply to its knees,” said Steenhuisen.

If De Ruyter’s claims are verified through the DA’s PAIA request “De Ruyter’s revelations will provide inconvertible proof that the ANC stands as accused number one for the collapse of the South African electricity system and the suffering this inflicts on the 60 million people of this country.”

Watch the full Andre de Ruyter interview here (not available in all countries):