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Attempted murder of departing Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter reported to SAPS

Attempted murder of departing Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter reported to SAPS
Eskom chief executive André de Ruyter at Daily Maverick's The Gathering in Cape Town on 24 November 2022. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter has allegedly survived a murder attempt at his office in Megawatt Park, where he drank a cup of coffee laced with cyanide.

De Ruyter has confirmed the alleged attempt on his life, which took place on Tuesday 13 December 2022, a day after he submitted his resignation as CEO to the Eskom chairman, Mpho Makwana, but before this became publicly known on 14 December 2022.

“I have reported the matter to SAPS [the South African Police Service] on 5 January 2022, and the case can be assumed to be under investigation,” he told EE Business Intelligence.

A trusted source external to Eskom indicated to EE Business Intelligence that after drinking a cup of coffee in his office at Eskom Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, De Ruyter became weak, dizzy and confused, shaking uncontrollably and vomiting copiously. He subsequently collapsed, unable to walk.

He was rushed to his doctor’s rooms by his security detail, where his condition was diagnosed as cyanide poisoning, and treated accordingly. The tests taken subsequently confirmed massively elevated levels of cyanide in his body.

This has been further confirmed by a second high level-source, as well as De Ruyter’s own words confirming his reporting of the matter to SAPS.

De Ruyter and his executive team have been clamping down and cutting off illicit revenue streams from procurement irregularities, fraud, theft, corruption and maladministration, both within Eskom and by certain of its suppliers and contractors.

High levels of criminality and corruption are particularly prevalent in Mpumalanga Province where there is a high concentration of ageing and poorly performing Eskom coal-fired power stations.

The month of December 2022 was marred by extremely high levels of rolling power cuts throughout South Africa, which is unusual at a time when electricity demand is traditionally its lowest as the country enters the summer holiday period and festive season.

De Ruyter has indicated that his position as CEO of Eskom became untenable after ANC chairman and Mineral Resources & Energy minister Gwede Mantashe publicly accused Eskom management of “agitating for the overthrow of the state”.

The alleged attempted murder also occurred only days before the start of the ANC elective conference held at the NASREC Expo Centre, Johannesburg, from 16 to 20 December 2022.

The period in the lead-up to and during the conference is a time of significantly heightened political tension as factions of the ruling party nominate and contest the positions for the party’s president, its “top 7” leadership, and its National Executive Committee (NEC).

It is becoming clearer that certain disaffected political and criminal elements have been engaging in deliberate acts of sabotage, theft and vandalism that worsened the security of supply in South Africa to the extent where state security is compromised.

The deployment of the South African Defence Force (SADF) to protect Eskom power station assets at a number of Eskom coal-fired power stations in Mpumalanga Province, announced during the ANC elective conference, indicates the perceived severity of the threats. DM

© Copyright 2023 – EE Business Intelligence (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. This article may not be published without the written permission of EE Business Intelligence.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    Eskom sabotage is treason! Name and shame! Then JAIL!!

  • Katharine Ambrose says:

    I wish de Ruyter a full recovery and hope that the evil perpetrators of attempted murder are soon caught.

  • Jos Verschoor says:

    An absolute disgrace, is that what it has come to, not in agreement, knock them off. I sincerely hope that SAPS will find the culprit asap. This is unacceptable!

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Expecting a more than useless SAPS to do anything meaningful … is like asking the jackal in the hen-coop to not kill the chickens ! Keep on dreaming because SAPS has become an extension of state capture.

  • Ian Gwilt says:

    Really a gangster state
    Do we expect our keystone cops to investigate ?

  • Karl Sittlinger says:

    Mantashe, Ramaphosa and Gordon owe Andre a public apology and should be groveling in front of him and us the public. It is clear now that the treason they accused him of is being perpetrated by the corrupt, likely cadres and tenderpreneurs (with ANC connections or even direct affilations) whose money taps are being closed. Greed for the looming Karship power should definitely not be ruled out either. Disgusting and highly alarming.

  • Chris 123 says:

    Well the fact Eskom applied for a license to import its own diesel, thereby cutting out a whole bunch of ANC linked cadres must have put the fear of god up them.
    But have no fear guys, comrade Mantashe has your back. If we took all the ANC tenderprener rentseekers out of the loop Eskom might make a profit.

  • Karsten Döpke says:

    Let us see what the Rhamaphosa does , if anything, to get behind De Ruyter and help and support the investigation into finding out who was behind his attempted murder. Or perhaps he will not, as the perpetrator is probably somebody who is politically connected enough to get corrupt contracts which De Ruyter was putting an end to….?
    This incident is just another rung in the ladder to a failed state.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    RET squad operators?

  • Lothar Böttcher says:

    All the best wishes for a speedy recovery to Andre de Ruyter.
    This is a smoking gun! Evidence of a myopic mafia hellbent on satisfying their selfish agenda until there is nothing left, for anyone. SAPS must follow the trail all the way to the head of this stinking fish, and not window dress the investigation with token arrests.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Things have escalated with this attempt – the taxpayer has been drinking from the poisoned chalice for sometime now …. the fight has now been personalised! Racist BEE policies criminalise all parts of our society – this incident is the tip of the iceberg, in my opinion.

  • Gordon Bentley says:

    What a disaster and shambles our beloved South Africa has become.
    I agree with the abovementioned sentiments.

  • Dietmar Horn says:

    The incident shows that criminal elements who want to abolish
    democracy and establish an autocratic system will stop at nothing. It is obvious where to find the teachers of these criminals. The pattern points too much to the machinations of Putin’s secret service. With the ruling party under their control, state institutions largely undermined, the captured Eskom now seems to be the decisive step to let the country sink into chaos. Are free elections still recognized when the governing party fears losing them? Donald Trump has shown that you first have to capture a major party in order to then “legally” abolish democracy. In the USA this danger has been averted for the time being because democracy is very well established there. How about that in South Africa?

    • Riette Fern says:

      Clearly De Ruyter is not in the right club, else he would have been flown to Russia for “treatment”. Was the coffee cup secured as evidence? Swabbed for DNA and fingerprinted? Sadly, South Africa does not care about whistle-blowers and corruption fighters.

  • Miles Japhet says:

    Private investigators needed

  • James Francis says:


  • Fernando Moreira says:

    De Ruyter should work closely with the NPA and assist with investigations into the sabotage and plunder of Eskom . He could even approach Judge Zondo ! ?

  • John Counihan says:

    And CR waffles away at Manguang about dealing with corruption. Hot air to action ratio is infinite. Wishing Andre de Ruyter a speedy recovery. You are a man of courage, sir!

  • Shirley Grindley says:

    We all owe a debt of gratitude to Andre de Ruyter who has worked tirelessly to reform ESKOM. The attempt on his life is a shameful act perpetrated by criminals but encouraged by the cowardly stance of the ANC towards corruption and the unforgivable statement made about deRuyter by Minister Mantashe.

  • Gordon Bentley says:

    What has happened about the inquest from The SAPS? Apparently Nothing!
    Surely, it is a relatively simple inquest? Start with: Find out who dished out the poisoned coffee. Then follow the leads. Is that too much to ask of our SAPServices? Or has the investigation been stopped by people higher up the ladder?
    As written above, by others: When the SA mafia become involved – that is the beginning of a failed state – how sad for SA

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