South Africa

POLITICS & POWER

André de Ruyter released from Eskom ‘with immediate effect’ following explosive interview

André de Ruyter released from Eskom ‘with immediate effect’ following explosive interview
Outgoing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter. (Photo: Felix Dlandamandla)

Eskom CEO André De Ruyter has left his job a month earlier than planned after reaching an agreement with the board. His early exit follows a candid interview on political interference and corruption at the embattled power utility.

In an interview with e.tv aired on Tuesday, 21 February, outgoing Eskom CEO André De Ruyter said it appeared Cabinet members were aware of and accepted widespread corruption at the embattled power utility. On Wednesday, he was “released from his position with immediate effect”.

De Ruyter resigned in December 2022 and was due to leave his job at the end of March. Eskom announced his early departure on Wednesday evening.

“Following the convening of a special board meeting on 22 February 2023, the Eskom Board and group chief executive Andrè de Ruyter have reached mutual agreement to curtail his notice period to 28 February 2023,” Eskom said in a statement.

“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.”

De Ruyter resigned following Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe’s claims that Eskom was “agitating for the overthrow of the state” by failing to address unprecedented levels of load shedding.

President Cyril Ramaphosa failed to defend the CEO from Mantashe’s attacks, which has been interpreted as an attempt to keep his critical ANC ally on his side.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Eskom CEO André de Ruyter resigns

De Ruyter was asked in the e.tv interview whether Eskom was an ANC “feeding trough”. “I would say the evidence suggests that it is,” he responded.

De Ruyter said he told a minister, who he did not name, he was concerned about attempts to “water down” governance of the $8.5-billion deal reached at COP26 to fund the country’s just transition to cleaner and renewable energy sources.

De Ruyter said the Cabinet member told him to be practical and that “in order to pursue the greater good, you have to let some people eat a little bit”.

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He also claimed that he had been under surveillance by State Security Agency members and that the ANC had an outdated socialist mindset and was focused on winning elections rather than long-term stability.

“They want what will win them the next election – not what will keep the country going for the next two decades.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: “INTERVIEW — André de Ruyter says initial police investigators in poisoning case were ‘out of their depth

Responding on Wednesday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan was clearly irked by De Ruyter’s comments.

“What’s important is that CEOs of any entity, including Eskom, should not be involved in open political debates or assertions, and where they have political views, that is their private business and they are welcome to express those views privately,” Gordhan was quoted as saying in TimesLive.

“But it is the responsibility of any CEO of any entity, as far as I am concerned, to keep their focus on the job at hand and make sure that is done as proficiently as possible.”

Gordhan added: “I think it’s a well-known and undeniable fact that corruption has been a feature both in Eskom and many other entities across government and of course the private sector.”

De Ruyter was Eskom’s 13th CEO in 10 years and his replacement is yet to be appointed.

“Acting GCE arrangements are being finalised with the shareholder Minister and will be communicated shortly,” said Eskom on Wednesday. DM

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  • Beyond Fedup says:

    The truth hurts and De Ruyter calls it like it is-a true SA patriot. It is what we all already know- a rotten to the core, self-serving putrid, corrupt, inept, foolish and rapaciously greedy party and government who only knows how to steal and destroy a country. They put party before all else, knowingly and willingly, to the detriment of all of us. Pigs feeding voraciously at the trough (with great respect for pigs)! They are wayward, dishonest and unscrupulous beyond belief as we witness their criminal, treasonous, thieving and vile behaviour, so intrinsic in their DNA. Support for the evil, deranged and murderous Putin KGB thug comes easy to these miscreants (being exceptionally kind here) as that is what they want to turn SA into – a criminal state where the elite rule and steal a country. To hell with these monsters!

  • Paul T says:

    Another example of the ANC not understanding what “the greater good” is or how to achieve it.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    We are in much deeper shit than we all thought. We are being lied to buy government in ALL areas. It is NOT interested in in cleaning house. People, this useless cheating government should be chased into the sea.

  • Auke Van Der Meulen Van Der Meulen says:

    So if you not a loyal lapdog and speak out, you out.
    That is why cadre deployment works.

  • Andrew W says:

    This is proof positive that there are no people of any moral substance in the ANC any more. There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ factions, only greedy ones.

    The fact that PG thinks that calling out corruption is a political view speaks volumes. This would be so disappointing if it wasn’t downright scary.

    Our slide, into failed African state, can only gather momentum with this government leading. The ANC has wasted an opportunity, I’m surprised we’re surprised

  • Charles R says:

    Were f_cķd.

  • Jon Quirk says:

    Now a clear moment where the actions, or non-actions of President Ramaphosa will show where he truly stands on corruption. Surely any President of even moderate integrity would want to get to the bottom of who exactly is his thieving fellow cabinet minister? How could anyone continue knowing that, within his innermost cabal is a person intent on stealing what he has described as a national asset?

  • Philip Armstrong says:

    Venezuela here we come!

  • Dhiren Ganasen says:

    An elected official imploring the CEO of a state-owned entity to be practical. To recognise that some level of corruption is inevitable. Wow. I worked from 04:00 to 22:45 yesterday and had to endure 11.5 hours of load shedding. When all of my load shedding mitigation strategies were exhausted, I continued to work, with the light from my backlit keyboard my only source of light. A touch dramatic considering how privileged I am, but I am at my wits end. I have over the nearly 23 years of my career contributed millions to the fiscus, in the misguided belief that the ANC would use my contributions to improve the lives of the less fortunate. The results have been less than satisfactory and there are no tangible plans to arrest the rot. Anyways, enough of my morning rant. My CADAC has run out of gas so there will be no warm porridge for my child before school. Sob.

  • Cedric Parker says:

    I have always admired Cyril and Pravin. However, the way that things are turning out in SA now has emphasised the fact that they have both been compromised by their lack of courage in confronting the corruption that they’ve observed over many years. If they had both left the ANC and exposed it for the rotten apple that it is they would have retained their credibility and would have been fit to lead a new ethical party that would have garnered substantial support.

  • James Owens says:

    Gordhan added: “I think it’s a well-known and undeniable fact that corruption has been a feature both in Eskom and many other entities across government and of course the private sector.”

    Are we just suppose to accept it then!?!?

  • Craig Gordon Nain says:

    Well, for me, this is the final nail in the ANC’s coffin.
    I have long been a supporter of Pravin Gordhan but his comments clearly indicate that party is more important than country.
    Surely De Ruyter’s comment on the ANC’s greater goal indicates that, in making that statement, he IS doing his job of seeking to shore up Eskom and allow it to achieve its goal of supplying the country with power to operate efficiently at the best possible price for all citizens of South Africa.
    The story is, regrettably but true, one that has played out in every corner of the world but none of greater impact than in ancient Israel – “it is better for 1 man to die for the people (read “party”) than for the people (again read “party”) to perish.
    Mr. Gordhan, sir, you have disappointed me!

  • Bryan Shepstone says:

    History sometimes turns on tiny events. Let’s hope this is one of those. Thanks for your service André.

  • André Pelser says:

    I can’t wait for de Ruyter’s book and hope he has competent bodyguards!

  • Peter Doble says:

    Proof, even admission, if ever it were needed. The country is like a vessel holed below the waterline, gradually breaking up and sinking.
    It’s worth quoting the prediction of the Brenthurst Foundation: “Successful governance requires difficult choices, abandoning old ways of thinking for innovation and a desire to serve all the people, not just the comrades.
    South Africa will settle in a trajectory where some basic elements, including power and water, will continue to fail, and, in so doing, generate a significant increase in poverty and social fracture.”

  • James Francis says:

    I once thought Pravin Gordhan opposed the Guptas because he was against corruption. Now we know it’s because they didn’t let the rest of the ANC “eat a little.”

  • Stuart Hulley-Miller says:

    Thanks Andre. Let’s hope your interview has the effect it should have. Take a break now, you deserve it.

  • Peter Smith says:

    Congratulations to Andre De Ruyter for the courage and integrity to tell the truth when is likely to be at high personal cost. I doubt if the Government can ever permit him to publish the full inside story of what was really happening at Eskom. They are unlikely to give up at the first failed attempt.
    Farewell Andre De Ruyter, you are a hero.

  • Zachie le Roux says:

    What a way you have with words, Sergio! Who could have imagined that Ramaphosa would become the custodian of this cartel. The ultimate responsibility lies with him. First the Nationalists with their diabolical system of Aparthate! And, when the country needed a break from the hell only politicians can unleash on the innocent, along came these despicable scum. Only a God in heaven can eventually reckon with these people.

  • James Harrison says:

    eNCA delivered a double whammy last night with a Checkpoint expose of how coal corruption and sabotage at Eskom actually works, immediately followed by the breathtaking interview of De Ruyter by Anika Larsen. Eskom, the ANC, the police and state security have all been utterly exposed, yet again, for the disgusting disasters that they are. Where to now South Africa? Does anyone still seriously believe that the ANC will improve matters?

  • jcdville stormers says:

    What a utter disgrace the Communistic ,trough eating,useless self serving, Putin concubine the ANC is how can they be communists,they love money so much

  • Stuart Woodhead says:

    Well done Andre. You may stand tall and be proud of what you tried to achieve for all of South Africa.
    I had thought the likes of Ramaphosa and Gordhan would have supported you but they seem to be too apathetic to do anything that requires guts. Let the corruption continue!!

  • Karl Nepgen says:

    Clear sign that Andre is not a cadre. Then he would have been suspended on full pay, or given a fantastic golden handshake.
    This is another exposé of the unbelievable incompetence and unashamed greed of the ANC ringleaders. And then Cyril had the nerve to call us a nation with hope during his SONA opening. The only hope that I have, is for a lightning bolt to strike sense in the bunch of idiots that are pretending to govern the country.

  • Alan Watkins says:

    James Owens wrote Gordhan added: “I think it’s a well-known and undeniable fact that corruption has been a feature both in Eskom and many other entities across government and of course the private sector.”

    Are we just suppose to accept it then!?!?

    Further to that, if that is what Gordhan thinks nad/or knows, why the response from the governemnt to terrminate De Ruyter? It will be interesting to see whther De Ruyter reveals all and much more.

  • Fernando Moreira says:

    Where are you Pravin?
    You asked people to join the dots ,when they do you through them under the bus !

    Vote the ANC out !

  • Steve Davidson says:

    Touché Andre, touché! That’ll teach the bliksems. Goed gedoen.

  • Jeremy Collins says:

    De Ruyter’s interview confirms what we already know – the ANC is a parasitic entity, feeding on the future of SA. A criminal syndicate of brazen thieves, liars and buffoons, stealing our taxes and borrowing money in our name so they can steal that too, while flaunting their millionaire lifestyles in our faces. “F- you,” they taunt, ” what are you gonna do?”

    That is the question. There are a few thousand of them, and millions of us. What are we going to do?

  • Jane Edge says:

    We salute you Andre De Ruyter. A true patriot willing to speak truth to power. Cyril and Pravin, this issue won’t go away – it will hit the world’s media and you are going to have to explain your inaction. Time to deal with your corrupt senior comrade in parliament who has been feeding at the Eskom trough for too long.

  • Grimalkin Joyce says:

    de Ruyter for President! This is what has killed our beloved country: “in order to pursue the greater good, you have to let some people eat a little bit”. I wonder who said that???!!! The ANC has betrayed everyone except those who have eaten “a little bit”. Children can’t read, the sick can’t get treated, the competent cannot find work. Oh! They have a LOT to answer for. There is a higher justice. Mr de Ruyter is a brave man.

  • Chris 123 says:

    Oh dear another failed African government more interested in looting than their citizens. Ramaphosa is a disgrace.

  • Dhasagan Pillay says:

    It’s going to be rather interesting to hear any interview where a journalist asks the powers that be, at Eskom and government, whether Mr De Ruyter has been approached to ‘officially’ whistleblow, or whether they’re enjoying the continuation of the spat that began with Gwede Mantashe’s continual attacks and the subsequent slew of attacks by politicians against him when he initially resigned. A follow-up question that would edify all of us would be why the SANDF has been deployed to key Eskom sites if Mr De Ruyter’s “policeman” actions were so wrong, as a starting point to fix Eskom’s woes.

  • Alf None' says:

    Gordhan has just as little backbone as the president

  • Derek Jones says:

    Sergio you hate them almost as much as I. Add to that the healthcare and education shambles. Cruelty and death caused by these imbeciles lack of compassion and integrity deserves many years of jail.

  • Claire Klostermann says:

    The problem that we now face after the truth was so boldly admitted, is that if these allegations are not properly investigated, successfully prosecuted and the sentences actually carried out, we are effectively declaring that there are no consequences and no accountability. And that would really be the final nail in the coffin.

  • Paddy Ross says:

    Not sure if this comment will appear below that of Cedric Parker but the DM system for replying seems to have changed. I think CR did not want to leave the once respected ANC to the corrupt wolves but wanted to drive them out of the party as has happened with Carl Niehaus and his fellow intellectuals. I do not rule out that CR’s ANC and CR supporters might join the DA in a coalition post-2024.

  • andrea96 says:

    Sergio. I agree 100% with your comment. I fear for SA.

  • Campbell Tyler says:

    Although I do not wish to absolve Gordhan from all this, I do have some sympathy for the man. Unlike Cyril, he has a worthy track record in government, from SARS, through Minister of Finance, through Minister of SOE. Working in such a toxic environment (of course he could have left the ANC, but that is a different conversation) must reduce any ethical man to a hollowed-out shell. And now here is someone with whom he has worked closely over the last three or so years, showing him just how hollowed-out he has become. No wonder he is “irked”. Also the thought that he has to start all over with someone else. If ever there was a time for him to leave the ANC, this is it. For what is left of his sanity.

  • Gordon Bentley says:

    De Ruiter’s comments are spot on.

  • Kirsten du Toit says:

    The politization of Eskom has been apparent for the last 7 years, at least.

    The inability of the ruling party to address the situation shows the severity and depth of the endemic rot. Now the endemic rot has appointed more endemic rot to try and rectify the endemic rot. Wot the rot?

    Do or don’t do, there is no try – Yoda. How can this, even in the simplest of terms be justified, let alone, sanctioned! Fight, fight, do not go quietly into this dark night!

    May the constitution withstand this corrupt onslaught on its principles, pray it protect its constituents. This rot can not be allowed to continue unabated; Eskom the official war chest of the ruling party, most certainly its power generation a mere sideline. The time for intense scrutiny is now.

    Topple the decayed pylons of corruption good citizens, intrepid journalists, upholders of our hard won constitution. When good people remain quiet, rot rules. Hammering home a point, please bear with… also mangling quotes & cliches but, you get the picture, to be sure.

    Transnet/PRASA, read previous election and cronyism funding mechanism, has collapsed, the golden goose fleeced to death. SAA got R1billion but, that’s probably just funding for the chosen in the upcoming elections. Denel & downwards, all victims; national pride, no more.

    Expound on more victims? Nah! With the cost of fuel & excise, off to the local for self-medication is off the cards.

    And that’s before grey-listing, cry the beloved economy!

  • David Edwards says:

    Imagine the minister in charge of Eskom, on hearing on national TV that a fellow minister is implicated in corruptly skimming money from the most critical utility in the country, demands an immediate inquiry into the allegations…
    Imagine s/he further demands that the implicated minister step-down while the investigation is conducted…
    Imagine the president of the country supports the call for transparency and suspends the implicated minister…
    Imagine the prosecuting authority immediately contacts the CEO of the utility to establish whether or not there are grounds for a criminal investigation…
    Imagine a country where the reactions of the president, ministers, judiciary and prosecutors, appointed to public positions and entrusted with public assets act rationally while serving the public good…

    Contrast that to what the ANC gives us

  • André van Niekerk says:

    Integrity can be defined as “doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”. For me, integrity is also defined by “doing the right thing, even when it will have negative consequences to yourself”. That is intergrity with courage, the two often goes together. Thank you Mr De Ruyter, you are an example to all, let us hope some of our young leaders learn from you.

    I am a believer in pragmatism. With that, I mean that many idealistic ideas will not produce good results in the real world, and one sometimes has to adapt your approach to get the best outcome. I have always had admiration for Pres. Ramaphosa and Min. Gordhan. Unfortunately that admiration has dwindled of late; I am running out of excuses to myself for justifying any continued admiration.

    Mr. Gordhan, pragmatism cannot be allowed to override integrity. When things are as bad as they are, courage is called for. Courage to stand by the truth, to act on behalf of the truth, and not to keep quiet for the sake of expediency; for more silent back-room negotiations with rabble. Mr President, it requires 20 seconds of courage to take the stand you know is required. Thereafter good will follow.

    A newly-formed ANC that arises out of the ashes of the current raging fire will be so much better than the diseased animal it currently is, being artificially kept alive and pretending to still have relevance.

    Mr Ramaphosa and Mr Gordhan, please start taking action on behalf of all of us. If you do, we will stand behind you.

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    De Ruyter said the Cabinet member told him to be practical and that “in order to pursue the greater good, you have to let some people eat a little bit”.

    For the minister, stealing has obviously become a normal acceptable behaviour, as he said it aloud in a conversation. I am gobsmacked!

  • Craig A says:

    “But it is the responsibility of any CEO of any entity, as far as I am concerned, to keep their focus on the job at hand and make sure that is done as proficiently as possible.”

    I wonder if he also said that about the CEO of SAA, Transnet, PRASA, the Post Office and all the other SEOs. On no, they were all part of the feeding frenzy. But the ONE person that exposes the truth is the bad guy. Give THAT man (De Ryter) a Bells.

  • norman mokone says:

    Salute to Mr de Ruyter!!!!!You just made these thugs realise that this is NOT a scene from a “Coen Brothers ” movie.. The future of this country is at stake.
    Our gravest concern should be that the ineptitude & lack of integrity of these ANC cadres is prevalent amongst majority of it supporters, if indeed not all of them..

  • Thinker and Doer says:

    Thank you Mr De Ruyter for all of your efforts to try to turn around the situation at Eskom, despite all of the obstacles and threats at every turn. What you have withstood is unbelievable. We are incredibly indebted to you. Very best wishes for the future. Thank you for speaking out so boldly and frankly about the reality of the situation, which is extremely important. The fact that the ruling party is so vehemently defensive to this truth telling indicates just how accurate it is, and how implacably opposed to changing they are. It confirms their true colours and who they really are. They are only interested in maintaining power, and are just pretending to do just enough to con voters into voting for them at the next elections. The interview and response have starkly exposed their strategy!

  • Graeme de Villiers says:

    And now FixFokol has jumped on the Denial Bandwagon as the squirming of the rats about to be caught in the net continues.
    That’s a SURE sign that something is rotten in the state of Denmark and that all avenues are currently being shut to exposure, accountability and blame. Let Mr de Ruyter name the people he mentioned and let’s all sit back and watch the show unfold.

  • Tony Reilly says:

    So disappointing ….cretins running the country.

  • Hippo Zourides says:

    I hope he has not signed any restraint agreements and will be free to speak his mind once on the outside. The people of SA demand to know all the facts of the internal shenanigans and no Minister (read, Gordhan) is entitled to act as high and mighty, by lecturing us on what a CEO can and cannot do.
    As a voter and a taxpayer, I demand to know every single detail of what de Ruyter knows, after all we paid for his salary!
    Maybe there is a book to be written, a la Paul O’Sullivan.

  • Ryckard Blake says:

    Shooting the messenger from the hip doesn’t inspire much confidence in Eskom’s current cadre-chair – Mpho Makwana.
    We heard Gordhan’s reaction, and now wait to hear what the 3rd Fat Pig might have to say about it. (Breathless sighs of relief, or exhorting the poisoners to try again, before he has time to REALLY blow the whistle).
    Tell the world how the board voting went, Makwana. And then explain in what way SA will be better off by you cutting short by a month the CEO’s tieing up of loose ends. You cannot seriously expect anyone to believe that ANYTHING de Ruyter might have revealed would bring Eskom into a lower state of disrepute than it already was in?

  • Vas K says:

    Hats off to Andre de Reyter. If I was not an opponent of statues, because they get erected and soon thereafter demolished, I would be pushing for one of him as martyr that he is. Who else would risk his health and life in order to prevail against the ultra-criminal mafia controlling the country. There is more than ample evidence that our “government” does not want to listen to all the well meant advice, suggestions and ideas, nor to any pleas for sanity. To reason with a mafia is always futile, with ANC one even more so. Nothing is more important than sweeping them on the heap (or better still, down an abandoned mine shaft) of history soonest. 2024 will be too late, the country will be looted to nothing. Let’s at least hope than some idiot will do the usual thing and rename the country, so that the legacy of real South Africa, that of Messrs. Mandela and de Reyter remains.

  • paulkilham says:

    None so blind

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    Yeah – the reaction clearly shows the guilt of the politicians. I just hope the voters who up to now voted for the ANC and EFF will now see the light – because that is where our (and Eskoms’) problem lies; with the politicians.

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    Jon Quirk, I agree with you. I can understand that maybe he does not know who of his ministers are secretly corrupt – but then Ramaphosa should come out and defend the honest and condemn the corrupt ALL THE TIME. And he did not defend De Ruyter; this already shows that his commitment in parliament to put country before party was just empty words. But let’s see what he will do about this.

  • paulkilham says:

    Thank you DM, I’m going to up my financial contribution to your publication immediately. Your investigative journalism is top gun.

  • Greg Barker says:

    ANDRE FOR PRESIDENT! this guy’s got more kahunas than the whole of the ANC government put together.

  • Peter Dexter says:

    This was an opportunity for Ramaphosa to show true leadership, step up and expose the rot. But just as he has a cabinet full of ministers tainted by evidence presented in the Zondo Commission, he is focused on running the ANC and winning elections and enriching “Comrades.” Effective governance of South Africa is low on the list of priorities

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