Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan hit back at former Eskom boss André de Ruyter, who has claimed that senior politicians were involved in corruption at the state power utility. The minister said the ex-CEO was noteworthy for breaking his employment contract confidentiality clause, and ‘taking the country back to swart gevaar’.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan deftly sidestepped questions about:
- What he’d done when told the names of the “high-ranking politicians” involved in Eskom corruption – nothing, as “no evidence” was proffered;
- A privately funded intelligence investigation into corruption at Eskom – nothing, because he was only “told in passing” about it; and
- Pinpointing the whereabouts of that investigation’s report(s) – nothing, as much “other work” had to be done.
“Without tangible evidence that will withstand judicial scrutiny, there is no point speculating who these politicians may be… I am not going to smear the reputation of others without credible evidence and verifiable facts provided,” Gordhan told Parliament’s public spending watchdog, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), on Wednesday.
That included not approaching President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has told Parliament in person and in a written reply he had not been informed about the “high-ranking politicians” involved in Eskom corruption.
Instead, De Ruyter became the focus.
“That he [De Ruyter] signed [the CEO contract] as self-proclaimed champion of corporate governance and the only person in town who understands the role of various institutions and people,” only to contravene the confidentiality clause was noteworthy, said Gordhan.
“In no big institution like Eskom, or…