Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

Ramaphosa says it’s not his job to find out which ministers are allegedly involved in Eskom graft

The president says several pending law enforcement investigations relating to Eskom are underway.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has seemingly suggested that the alleged corruption at Eskom is out of his hands despite two members of his Cabinet allegedly being implicated.

Replying to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance (DA), Ramaphosa indicated that he has not being briefed about the graft allegations at Eskom.

Former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter made headlines in February following his interview with eNCA, where he revealed that he had informed a Cabinet minister about Eskom corruption involving a senior politician.

He also disclosed information about malpractice and sabotage related to coal theft and fraud at the power utility, led by four crime cartels.

According to De Ruyter, at least R1 billion was stolen at Eskom every month.

Investigations under way

Ramaphosa, in his response, has since confirmed that neither national security advisor, Sydney Mufamadi, or Minister Pravin Gordhan, whose department is responsible for Eskom, had told him about the identities of the two ministers who are allegedly connected to the cartels.

The president highlighted that the responsibility of reporting any corrupt activities to the police laid with De Ruyter since he was a person who held “a position of authority”.

“Once any such person has presented evidence to an appropriate law enforcement agency, such agency should take whatever action it deems relevant,” Ramaphosa said.

He also said several pending law enforcement investigations relating to Eskom were underway.

“Various measures have been taken by the Department of Public Enterprises and reported to Parliament regarding the implementation of the recommendations of the State Capture Commission.”

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Ramaphosa pointed out that one of the matters currently under investigation included the cancellation of coal supply agreements and construction contracts by Eskom, valued at R11 billion.

Furthermore, the president said, Eskom was in the process of recovering approximately R2 billion unlawfully paid by Eskom to service providers.

“[There are] Special Investigating Unit [SIU] investigations and Eskom disciplinary action regarding 14 coal transportation service providers [as well as] ongoing internal investigations into four diesel suppliers to Eskom,” he explained.

He added that the Department of Public Enterprises was finalising external advice regarding the launching of applications to have several former directors of Eskom declared delinquent.

‘Business as usual’

Unhappy about his reply, the DA accused the president of neglecting his duties.

“In true Ramaphosa fashion, the president has shirked responsibility entirely by sitting on his hands and doing nothing.

“Instead, President Ramaphosa has not only ignored the public’s plea to rid Eskom of corruption and fix the load shedding disaster but also proven to the entire country that despite his renewed mandate at the ANC’s national conference in December last year, he is unable to clean up and clean out his party and his government, both of which continue to inflict increasing misery and suffering on our country and its people,” DA MP Siviwe Gwarube said in a statement.

READ MORE: ‘Necessary for a functional democracy’: Parliament has a duty to probe Eskom corruption

Gwarube said South Africans expected their president to take such allegations seriously and immediately suspend any Cabinet ministers facing such allegations.

“Instead, it is business as usual for President Ramaphosa,” she added.

Meanwhile, De Ruyter is set to appear before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) next Wednesday to answer questions from MPs about his allegation.

The DA’s motion for the establishment of an ad hoc committee into the Eskom corruption failed in the National Assembly last month.

The ANC used its majority to shoot down the motion with all its 201 MPs voting against it.