'Forced out for speaking truth' or 'good riddance'? Reactions to De Ruyter’s immediate departure from Eskom

23 February 2023 - 07:02
By Kyle Zeeman
Eskom Group CEO André de Ruyter has left the power utility with immediate effect.
Image: Freddy Mavunda © Business Day Eskom Group CEO André de Ruyter has left the power utility with immediate effect.

South Africans have taken to social media to share their reaction to Eskom CEO André de Ruyter leaving Eskom “with immediate effect”.

The power utility announced the decision after a “special board meeting” on Wednesday evening.

De Ruyter tendered his resignation in December 2022 and was serving out his notice period until the end of March. However, he and the board came to a “mutual agreement” to cut that short.

“The board 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,” Eskom said.

The decision came just hours after an eNCA interview in which De Ruyter gave explosive allegations about the inner workings of Eskom and his experience as CEO. He was slammed by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan for “meddling” in politics instead of focusing on fixing the country's power crisis.

Politicians, analysts and social media users reacted to De Ruyter's immediate departure, claiming it stemmed from his comments during the controversial interview.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said politicians had “failed” De Ruyter.

Exposing the ANC’s corruption and mismanagement at Eskom is clearly a career-ending move. No wonder we are on the verge of stage 8 load-shedding. At least De Ruyter tried. It’s the politicians that failed him, and South Africa.”

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu said “good riddance” to the former CEO.

DA MP Leon Schreiber claimed De Ruyter had been “forced out for one reason, and one reason only: speaking the truth that ANC corruption is the cause of Eskom's collapse”.

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