Gordhan vows Eskom CEO ‘poisoning’ will be ‘thoroughly investigated’

Pravin Gordhan. Image: GCIS

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said an apparent attempt to poison Eskom CEO André de Ruyter will be “thoroughly investigated”, and anyone found responsible will be charged.

Eskom confirmed on Sunday that police were investigating whether an attempt was made to poison its outgoing CEO.

Without giving any details, Gordhan said an intense battle was taking place “between those who want South Africa to work and thrive and those who want to corruptly enrich themselves”.

Faced with political pressure, De Ruyter resigned on 14 December after failing to solve a crisis in Eskom that has led to record power cuts.

After taking office in January 2020, De Ruyter led a company-wide clampdown on corruption and organised criminal behaviour, including sabotage of infrastructure, at Eskom plants. His last day in office will be 31 March.

“Eskom cannot comment further on the poisoning incident involving the group chief executive, which occurred during December 2022, as the matter is subject to police investigation,” the utility’s head of security said in a statement.

The alleged cyanide poisoning was first reported by specialist energy publication EE Business Intelligence on Saturday.

Read: Eskom CEO De Ruyter poisoned with cyanide: report

Opposition party the Democratic Alliance on Sunday called for decisive action against criminal syndicates that it said were “hell-bent on cementing their stranglehold on Eskom that is destroying the economy”.

The South African Police Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Eskom’s board chairman, Mpho Makwana, was also unavailable.  — Wendell Roelf and Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo, © 2023 Reuters

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Source: techcentral.co.za