Former Eskom board interim board chairperson, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, has backed ex-CEO André de Ruyter on his claims about the private intelligence-driven operation at the power utility to crack down on crime and corruption.
Makgoba told members of the standing committee on public accounts that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national security adviser, Sydney Mufamadi and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan were aware of this private intelligence operation led by ex-National Police Commissioner George Fivaz.
Makgoba said he was also informed about it by De Ruyter last July.
He added Ramaphosa cited the work of the intelligence operation in his State of the Nation Address in February, where he said it led to the arrest of 43 people involved in corruption, theft and sabotage at Eskom.
Makgoba was briefing Scopa on Wednesday on what he knew about some of the damning allegations by De Ruyter.
Makgoba also slammed the shoddy work of the SAPS and the Hawks, who, despite being told several times about the levels of crime, theft, corruption and sabotage, were lackadaisical in their approach.
Eskom would not be teetering on the brink of collapse if the Hawks and police had done their work, said Makgoba.
He told Scopa the law enforcement agencies were sleeping while Eskom, was on fire.
“If the SAPS and the Hawks had done their work effectively and efficiently, we would not be meeting here as a committee. The issue that De Ruyter undertook was an operational matter because Eskom, at the time, was besieged with sabotage and corruption, and we were not getting any mileage from law enforcement agencies,” said Makgoba.
He added that, at some point, a frustrated De Ruyter had raised this issue with a senior official in the National Prosecuting Authority.
“The Hawks were not doing what they were supposed to be doing, not that they were not investigating. But they were taking too long, almost lackadaisical about what needs to be done when Rome was burning. This repeated itself in a number of ways around cases reported either to the SAPS or the Hawks with very little action.
“As a board, we were concerned that our crown jewel was destroyed when we have a security cluster that seems to be asleep. These concerns were raised by the board. We left this matter to De Ruyter as part of management because we regarded them as operational to deal with,” said Makgoba on the appointment of Fivaz.
He said they had been let down by the law enforcement agencies’ failure to act on rampant crime and corruption at Eskom.
They made the country to be where it is today.
De Ruyter informed Makgoba, Mufamadi and Gordhan about the private intelligence-gathering operation by Fivaz at Eskom.
“De Ruyter did inform me. I know on July 5, De Ruyter did inform Mufamadi and Pravin Gordhan. On July 26, De Ruyter took Minister (Bheki) Cele, Gordhan, and (Gwede) Mantashe to Tutuka to see what corruption and sabotage in a single power station mean,” said Makgoba.
He said in his Sona, Ramaphosa had quoted the work of the intelligence-driven operation at Eskom that led to the arrest of 43 people.
“Which intelligence-driven operations were these that led to the 43 arrests?” asked Makgoba.
Current board chairperson Mpho Makwana denied any knowledge of the intelligence operation by De Ruyter.
He said the board was not briefed about it.
Makgoba confirmed to members of Scopa that members of the executive committee at Eskom were not aware of the Fivaz operation.
Source : IOL