Eskom CEO André de Ruyter has challenged the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and its leader Julius Malema to approach law enforcement agencies with evidence to back up their “insinuation of corruption on his part.”
The EFF issued a statement on Thursday claiming de Ruyter had “confessed to corruption, unethical and unlawful conduct” during the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) hearings in Parliament on Wednesday.
During the hearings, de Ruyter said he had identified four companies to be included in a pool of Eskom’s service providers because they had much-needed expertise and innovation, particularly in the maintenance of boiler tube ferrules.
‘Not corruption when done by white people’
He said, “This does not mean there is an instruction going from myself or from my office to appoint any contractor. It is an expansion of potential contractors to be considered when requests for work are issued to the supply team.”
However, addressing the Black Business Summit on Wednesday, Malema said introducing the companies to Eskom’s supply chain “without due process” amounted to corruption.
The EFF leader likened it to what the infamous Gupta brothers allegedly did during the alleged state capture period, adding that if former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe had done the same, it would have made news headlines.
“You do not know about this because this corruption is conducted by white people. It is not corruption when it is done by white people,” Malema said.
De Ruyter denies allegations
In a statement issued by the power utility late on Thursday, de Ruyter said he “emphatically” denied the EFF and Malema’s allegations.
The statement added, “Eskom invites anyone who has evidence of any wrongdoing and any form of corruption to approach the relevant law enforcement agencies.
“Eskom has already extended an invitation to Mr Malema and the EFF to approach the law enforcement agencies with any evidence that may be a their disposal.”
De Ruyter reiterated his denial during the Black Business Council gala dinner in Midrand on Thursday evening, adding, “No one is above the law.”
During the SCOPA hearings, de Ruyter also said, “I am very comfortable in my own mind that I have not acted unethically and I’m restraining myself at this point, because I don’t particularly appreciate the implication that I am behaving unethically.”
SCOPA chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the committee would seek legal advice on the matter.