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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


André de Ruyter leaves Eskom with immediate effect

Eskom said de Ruyter and the power utility's board reached a mutual agreement to curtail his notice period during a special board meeting.


Eskom’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) André de Ruyter will be leaving the struggling state-owned entity with immediate effect.

The announcement was made by Eskom late on Wednesday night.

De Ruyter is the eleventh CEO in 13 years to leave Eskom.

Mutual agreement

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said De Ruyter and Eskom reached a mutual agreement to curtail his notice period to 28 February 2023 during a special board meeting.

“The board further resolved that Mr de Ruyter will not be required to serve the balance of his notice period but that he will be released from his position with immediate effect.”

“Acting GCE arrangements are being finalized with the shareholder Minister and will be communicated shortly,” Mantshantsha said.

Resignation

De Ruyter officially resigned as the Eskom CEO on 14 December 2022.

At the time, Eskom board chairperson Mpho Makwana said De Ruyter’s last day at the power utility would be 31 March 2023.

“De Ruyter has agreed to stay for an additional period beyond the stipulated 30-days’ notice to ensure continuity while we urgently embark on a search for his successor,” said Makwana.

The Eskom board said a comprehensive search would be conducted to “find a suitably qualified candidate” to replace De Ruyter.

ALSO READ: Eskom CEO André de Ruyter resigns

Calls to fire De Ruyter

Before his resignation, there were repeated calls for Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to fire De Ruyter.

The Eskom CEO came under increased pressure to reduce the exacerbated load shedding.

During an ANC NEC meeting, Gordhan attributed Eskom’s crisis to poor maintenance and sabotage at power stations.

But some members were not convinced and urged him to replace De Ruyter.

Mantashe attacks de Ruyter

De Ruyter also came under attack from Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe, who likened De Ruyter to a “policeman” who is focused on “chasing criminals, ” without a grasp of the power utility’s challenges.

Mantashe also said De Ruyter should be replaced with someone with technical capabilities.

“When you are a lawyer, the actual challenges you are not going to understand. You are going to chase criminals; that is your competence.”

No support

At the time of De Ruyter’s resignation, energy expert Chris Yelland in a tweet said the Eskom CEO had no support from government as head of the power utility.

“Without a single word of support from by the president, the finance minister, the DPE [Department of Public Enterprises] minister and the Eskom board chairman after the attack by Minister Mantashe accusing De Ruyter of treason, I would expect nothing different except that De Ruyter should resign in disgust,” Yelland said.

Poisoned

In January, De Ruyter opened a case of attempted murder after he was allegedly poisoned.

It was reported that after drinking a cup of coffee in his office, De Ruyter became weak, dizzy, confused, and vomitted copiously.

He subsequently collapsed, unable to walk.

ALSO READ: André de Ruyter: ‘The wrong person resigned’, says Solidarity

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