Saftu calls on De Ruyter to report information on alleged crimes

Thousands of members affected by load-shedding, theft and corruption at Eskom, says Zwelinzima Vavi

24 February 2023 - 12:24
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Saftu president Zwelinzima Vavi. File image
Saftu president Zwelinzima Vavi. File image
Image: Veli Nhlapo

South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has called on former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter to report and provide evidence on claims he made about the alleged inner workings and criminality at the power utility.

Vavi said the union’s concern stemmed from their affiliations at Eskom and other industries that rely on a stable electricity supply.

“Thousands of our members have been plunged into unemployment and deeper poverty after retrenchments caused by load-shedding. Theft from Eskom also affects employees' wages, their health and training budgets and job security, and Saftu has a direct and substantial interest in dealing with the terrible corruption you describe and bringing those responsible to account,” said Vavi.

TimesLIVE has seen a letter written by Vavi, addressed to De Ruyter, where he queried why the allegations have not been reported and said the union was not antagonising De Ruyter, but intended to pursue the issue of criminal syndicates at Eskom and the alleged ministerial advice to ignore it vigorously within the confines of the law.

“You alleged that about R1bn was and is stolen, extorted or otherwise illegally obtained from Eskom per month through the criminal activities of syndicates, primarily operating in Mpumalanga,” said Vavi.

“You also linked this criminal activity to politicians at various levels who, at best, turned a blind eye to it. At worst, from your account, they recommended these crimes be allowed to occur or even facilitated it.

“You correctly linked these crimes to the notion of treason, given their dire effect on the economy. You also alleged that a minister (at the time) made specific [statements] to you condoning these activities, recommending that the 'eating' should be allowed to occur on a limited scale.”

As the interview made it clear a minister recommended a course of action to De Ruyter, Vavi said the move was not an idle observation but advice to permit corrupt activities which favoured members of the ANC.

He questioned the reasons for De Ruyter’s silence regarding the alleged crimes and the exchange between himself and the minister, and urged the former CEO to provide the union with a copy of the affidavit to exercise its members' rights and in the public interest to oppose this state of affairs and behaviour.

“The purpose of this letter is not to pit ourselves against you. Instead, we wish to take action against those responsible regarding the criminal activity you have described.”

Vavi called on De Ruyter to respond by March 3 and should he miss this date, the union would assume De Ruyter failed to file the necessary reports of suspected criminal activity.

PODCAST | ANC threatens legal action against De Ruyter after 'feeding trough' corruption allegations


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