De Ruyter’s book more popular than 'The President's Keepers' — Here's how many copies it sold in its first week

30 May 2023 - 09:26
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Former Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter’s tell-all book is flying off the shelves and breaking sales records. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham Former Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter’s tell-all book is flying off the shelves and breaking sales records. File photo.

Former Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter’s tell-all book is flying off Penguin Random House's bookstore shelves and breaking sales records. 

The book titled Truth to Power: My Three Years Inside Eskom is the publisher's second best seller, beating Jacques Pauw’s The President’s Keepers and Kyle Cowan's Sabotage: Eskom Under Siege

Penguin Random House told News24 De Ruyter’s book sold 16,444 copies in its first week, breaking the record held by The President's Keepers. A sticker on the book sold at Exclusive Books claimed over 50,000 copies have been sold. 

The sales do not include the illegal copies shared on social media platforms.

The book, retailing for R340, hit the shelves earlier this month and a PDF was illegally shared on WhatsApp. 

The publisher said it was appalled at the illegal distribution and warned anyone sharing the book on social platforms illegally is breaking the law in terms of the Copyright Act.

“PRH does not wish to take legal action against individual members of the public, but the prevalence of this practice, not only in respect of this book but also in respect of others, is becoming so widespread that it leaves PRH with no choice.”

Penguin Random House CEO Steve Connolly warned the illegal sharing of the book could see its price increase.

“The unlawful sharing of copyrighted works not only hurts PRH as a publisher, but also the many people who have spent countless hours bringing the work to life. This includes the author, proofreaders, fact checkers, designers and the many people who rely on the publishing industry for their livelihood,” Connolly said.

WHAT'S INSIDE THE BOOK?

In the book, De Ruyter speaks about tender processes and alleged crime networks at power stations in Mpumalanga. 

“In Mpumalanga, several cases relating to coal theft and the dumping of stock at dark sites were never prosecuted because a specific senior police officer had personally intervened,” the extract reads. 

Minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan is also named in the book, with De Ruyter claiming Gordhan asked him to meet up at his house in Pretoria to discuss the state of the utility.

The Sunday Times published an extract of the book.

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In 20 years in the oil business I had never heard of the company. Yet, here was Eskom’s procurement department, recommending that we award them a fuel oil tender to the tune of R432m. It stank to high heaven. 

I first noticed the company during a meeting of the board of Eskom’s generation division in April 2022. Looking at the bidders’ list submitted by the procurement department, I quickly realised it was nothing more than a shelf company, and a close corporation to boot.

Another company on the list was also distinctly dodgy: a quick Google search revealed that they were under US sanctions from the Office of Foreign Assets Control — or OFAC, which precipitated a suitably onomatopoeic moment. 

I asked about the shelf company. “Anything to be concerned about?” I asked, feigning ignorance. 

“Nothing at all, they are good,” was the response. 

One of the key requirements of a successful cross-examination is to know the answers to the questions that you’re going to ask, and then pay out enough rope for the witness to hang himself ...

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To read the full extract, click on the story below.