While it is good to see that Electricity minister Ramokgopa is getting to grips with criminal activities at Eskom (The Mercury, June 12), earlier in the year, when Andre De Ruyter disclosed the extent of corruption, theft and sabotage, the ANC denied his findings and vowed revenge on him for maligning its ‘good name’ (Truth to Power, p 297).
Ramokgopa’s response to a parliamentary inquiry that SAPS are working on 1,952 Eskom-related cases and have made 126 arrests, poses an interesting question: why are they acting only now but were indifferent to these crimes when De Ruyter disclosed them?
When De Ruyter told National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola of the criminality and corruption crippling Eskom, the General bemoaned the lack of crime intelligence at his disposal (p 207). His response was an indictment of the State Security Agency which expressed ignorance of the criminal network which De Ruyter’s crime investigation initiative had uncovered (p. 151).
Another insight into the lax attitude to security was expressed by Major General Pushkin Skhosana, the head of national key points security. He told De Ruyter that it was the responsibility of the owner of a key point – Eskom, in this case – to safeguard its assets (p 207).
From those admissions, it becomes clear how cartels and the coal mafia were able to rob Eskom with impunity. Also why there were no serious attempts made at prosecutions because of the network that would have been exposed and the extent of complicity reaching to Cabinet level.
Minister Ramokgopa can claim no credit for having established a team probing criminal activities at Eskom. That credit belongs to Andre De Ruyter who tried to initiate such action two years ago.