Eskom to probe allegations of racism against CEO André de Ruyter

09 March 2021 - 08:15 By Karl Gernetzky
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter. Picture: REUTERS/SUMAYA HISHAM
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter. Picture: REUTERS/SUMAYA HISHAM

Power utility Eskom said on Tuesday it would start a probe into racism allegations against group CEO André de Ruyter.

De Ruyter, the former CEO of packaging group Nampak, was brought in to spearhead a turnaround of the embattled power utility in January 2020, but has recently been accused of helping purge black suppliers, in favour of white suppliers.

The allegation not only brings Eskom into disrepute, but also threatens to detract from and distract the focus of the executive team and the group CEO from the critical job of restoring Eskom to operational and financial sustainability, Eskom said in a statement on Tuesday.

Eskom said it will appoint an independent senior counsel to conduct the investigation.

“The counsel will be empowered to interview any person that may be of assistance in the probe, and consider any evidence, and will then report back to the board and make recommendations,” the statement reads.

Eskom’s suspended chief procurement officer Solly Tshitangano has levelled a series of allegations against De Ruyter and other managers, with Eskom noting earlier in March that a meeting of parliament's standing committee on public accounts had deviated from its agenda, and instead dealt with claims from Tshitangano.