/ 30 March 2023

De Ruyter ready to appear before parliamentary committee

Former Eskom chief executive Andre De Ruyter. Photo: Supplied

Former Eskom chief executive Andre de Ruyter has agreed to appear before parliament’s watchdog standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) to discuss the allegations of corruption he raised in an explosive television interview in February.

The committee said on Thursday it extended an invitation to De Ruyter on 17 March and he has accepted, through his lawyers. 

“Mr De Ruyter indicated that he will present a written submission to the committee on the issues he has raised, and is agreeable to appearing before it at a date to be determined by the committee,” Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said in a statement.

The committee believed it was important to have discussions with De Ruyter on the allegations of mafia-style corruption, theft, maladministration, sabotage, lack of consequence management and other financial irregularities at Eskom, Hlengwa added.

De Ruyter was released from his duties at Eskom one month before the end of his notice period after he told eNCA that a senior, unnamed, ANC politician was involved in corruption at the company, and that he had told a cabinet minister of his suspicions.

He also answered in the affirmative when asked whether he believed that the party served as a “feeding trough” for the ANC.

It hit a nerve with the ruling party, which has since said it wants to sue De Ruyter for defamation, but was struggling to establish his whereabouts to serve summons.

The Scopa invitation was sent after ANC MP Bheki Radebe urged the committee to call De Ruyter to explain his allegations.

Last week, the party voted down a proposal by the Democratic Alliance to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate wrongdoing in Eskom.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has confirmed that he was the cabinet member to whom De Ruyter reported that he believed someone in the top echelons of the ANC had a hand in corruption at the power utility.
In the debate in the National Assembly a fortnight ago, opposition leader John Steenhuisen took advantage of parliamentary privilege and said that the minister De Ruyter had referred to was former deputy president David Mabuza.