Defend Truth

ESKOM INTELLIGENCE FILES, PART ONE

Introducing the four crime cartels that have brought Eskom and South Africa to their knees

Introducing the four crime cartels that have brought Eskom and South Africa to their knees
Illustrative image | Sources: A coal-fired power station operated by Eskom. (Photo: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images) | Eskom workers during the launch of an energy management campaign in Gauteng. (Photo: Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius) | Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. (Photo: Dwayne Senior / Bloomberg via Getty Images) | A coal delivery truck departs from the Komati coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga. (Photo: Gallo Images) | Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images | Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images | AdobeStock

Intelligence reports obtained by Daily Maverick link two senior members of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet to four criminal cartels operating inside Eskom. Although we cannot yet reveal the names of the Cabinet members for legal reasons, we can divulge that the intelligence links the cartels to the sabotage of Eskom’s power stations and to a programme of political destabilisation.

Note: City Press and Rapport first reported on some elements that we’re dealing with in this story on Sunday, 26 February.

Safe house

The organogram was the size of the boardroom table. Approaching it, there was a distinct feeling that what we were about to see could never be unseen. The country we thought we lived in, from that moment on, would be an entirely different place.

“CRIME CARTELS OPERATING WITHIN ESKOM,” the header explained, all in caps.

In the body of the organogram, below the so-called “territorial ruler” and his primary enforcer, who was identified by name as the “henchman” and “assassin”, were the leaders and foot soldiers of the four cartels: the Presidential Cartel, the Mesh-Kings Cartel, the Legendaries Cartel and the Chief Cartel.

There were photographs of the major players, in some cases alongside the companies with which they were affiliated, but a lot of the information was yet to be confirmed. Still, in a column running between the cartels was a box titled, “Illicit procurement process to defraud Eskom”. This, we knew, was the covert information on how it all worked.

“What we have here,” said our source, “is not evidence. It’s intelligence. You guys will have to do the work of joining the dots.”

There were other conditions that came with our access to this “safe house”, out in a quiet suburb of Gauteng’s metropolitan sprawl. We had been asked to leave our phones in the car, so it went without saying that revealing any clues that could lead to the identification of our sources was an absolute no-go zone.

Also, for the moment, we were told, very firmly, that we could not quote from the intelligence reports until we were given the green light.

The reason for this was simple: our sources, former state intelligence operatives who were now working for the private sector, are still active in the field.

“If you want to get killed,” said our primary source, “you come play here.”

We nodded, and turned our attention back to the organogram. Aside from the identity of the “territorial ruler”, it was the “illicit processes” that drew our attention.

At the top of the column was an item marked “Soldier”, where it was explained that the cartel leader or one of his subordinates would “approach a specific end-user” — for instance, an “engineer” in the generation or distribution division of Eskom — to begin the process.

“The end-user [Eskom insider] is in cahoots,” the text noted, “and receives a substantial amount in cash, including extra funds to bribe the other employees in the supply chain to ensure their cooperation.”

Next, the text went deeper into how the end-user operated and what he intended to accomplish, beginning with the “payment of an upfront bribe” to the store manager of a power station.

“The store manager then verifies how much of a specific type of equipment is available on inventory to be covered in a purchase order. Should the equipment to the value of the intended purchase order be available in stock, the existing equipment in stock will be hidden or displaced somewhere in the power station to justify the procurement/purchase request for additional equipment.

“Also, for the cartels to create a supplementary business to supply essential components or renew or continue maintenance contract works, the cartel will plot the destruction of infrastructure with insiders so that a breakdown can justify repairs or the supply of components via the cartel vendors.”

The text then went into information that is already in the public domain, such as “malicious damage” to conveyer belts and the “sabotage” of the railway line feeding the Majuba Power Station — the last example, it was noted, so as “to ensure the survival of their coal transport trucking companies supplying coal to Eskom”.

Finally, the text explained, the end-user would approach the procurement manager, “or an employee referred to as a Mphati in collusion with the cartel”.

This Mphati, it was noted, had become “a very influential contact at the power station”. As the man in charge of procurement, he “receives an upfront inducement that serves as an acceleration fee to issue a purchase request (RFQ)”. And here, according to the intelligence, was where the “illicit procurement process” got set in motion.

“The procurement manager/buyer instructs the financial department to approve the expenditure that must, according to the supply chain directives of Eskom, have the signatures of both the end-user and the store manager.”

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

So there it was, the scam in all its torrid glory, a simple outline of a criminal network so vast and heinous that it was bringing the country to its knees. The cartel members, with the backing and protection of the “territorial ruler”, would, by this stage in the process, have the South African taxpayers’ funds all but in their leather bags.

In the column’s third section, the intelligence went on to explain:

“The purchase request (RFQ) is then taken to a senior buyer who will receive their share of the bribe/pay-off. After that, three compulsory quotes will be obtained. All three quotations will originate from the same cartel as all three approaching members are members/soldiers of the same cartel.

“The soldiers/vendors manipulate the quotations so that a specific pre-chosen company is inevitably appointed as the final vendor, and a purchase order (PO) is issued accordingly. In addition, the buyers often will create a false urgency by sending official emails to the vendor to expedite delivery, which will then be used to justify a higher price. It will also then record that the PO is bona fide.”

But that wasn’t all. The fourth section, titled “Bribed security officers sign off on non-existent product delivery”, was pretty self-explanatory, with Eskom’s security staff in the secret employ of the cartels putting their signatures to “ghost deliveries” and verifying that the equipment had been inspected at the main gate.

“The end-user and store manager will receive the ghost delivery and sign the receipt to deliver the non-existing equipment. The hidden equipment is retrieved from where it was hidden and placed back into storage as if the equipment had been delivered.”

It was at this juncture that we came across the sentence which, we knew, would make our work incredibly challenging.

Aside from the fact that all bribes up and down the line were paid in cash, there was the following problem:

“All the procurement documentation from the purchase request to the delivery note will procedurally correspond with the equipment on inventory, making it difficult for forensic audits to identify fraud and malpractice.”

The ‘territorial ruler’

The date was early December 2022, just days before the ANC’s elective conference at Nasrec.

We knew, from a series of previous conversations with our sources, that the intelligence gathered in the field suggested a direct link between the sabotage, the cartels, and an orchestrated programme of political destabilisation.

Not a day had passed in November without power cuts across the country, and now, in December, we were headed for an extended bout of Stage 6.

 

The name of the “territorial ruler” at the top of the organogram was therefore no surprise to us, although it still came as something of a shock.

A few days later, when we were directed to a second secret location to take possession of the monthly intelligence reports on which the organogram was based — a series of thick individual files stretching from March to November 2022 — we quickly came across multiple entries that suggested the “territorial ruler” was a contender.

In the July report, which totalled 128 pages, his name was mentioned 28 times. One of these entries, under the standard “Confidential” in red text, noted the following:

“THREAT: Destabilisation of Eskom power plants in Mpumalanga allegedly involving [‘territorial ruler’], Team Shikisha … the Presidential Cartel and Radical Economic Transformation (RET) cabal.”

Team Shikisha, it turned out, had been placed in the organogram above the four cartels — as a “feared murder squad” comprising roughly 60 to 70 members. The leader was identified by name, as was the name of the territorial ruler’s chief “principal”, to whom it was alleged that Team Shikisha covertly reported.

While Daily Maverick, for legal reasons, cannot yet identify these two individuals, the activities of Team Shikisha have long been in the public domain. In July 2021, it was reported in the Witbank News that Mpumalanga MEC for community safety, security and liaison, Vusi Shongwe, had organised a “crime imbizo” to encourage the residents of Emalahleni to speak out.

“It is alleged by the community members that [Team Shikisha] is using illegal guns, shooting in the streets, threatening people, and saying they will kill them,” the news report noted.

Also in July 2021, under the header “Team Shikisha”, a video was posted to Facebook of two gentlemen celebrating in a high-end car dealership.

Although the involvement of the two men was unconfirmed, this squared with the intelligence we received that leaders of the cartels would “pay cash for luxury cars” and “wash their hands in 15-year-old whisky” — a detail that would be repeated in former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter’s bombshell eNCA interview in late February 2023.

As for the “territorial ruler”, the August intelligence report noted the following, all in caps: “[THE TERRITORIAL RULER] INITIATES PUBLIC UNREST IN MPUMALANGA THROUGH HIS HENCHMEN TEAM SHIKISHA AND [name excised] IN SUPPORT OF BECOMING PRESIDENT.”

The SAPS generals and brigadiers

Similarly, as regards the involvement of senior South African Police Service (SAPS) officers with the Eskom cartels, the August report noted the following (again, although all names are known to Daily Maverick, the identity of the brigadier has been removed for legal reasons):

“[The ‘territorial ruler’s’] very close confidante is SAPS Brigadier X who undermines or frustrates any investigation into his interests. Whenever money is transported, Brigadier X is informed, and he ensures that the vehicle transporting the money is not stopped at a roadblock. If the vehicle is stopped, a phone call to X is made, who will take care of it.”

In all, in another arm of the organogram that stretched out from the topmost box of “territorial ruler”, 13 Mpumalanga SAPS officers were named under the following explanation: “CORRUPT: PREVENT PROSECUTION AND INVOLVED WITH CARTELS AND ILLEGAL MINING FOR FINANCIAL GAIN.”

The officers included two generals, three brigadiers, one ex-brigadier, one colonel, two captains, one lieutenant, one warrant officer and two sergeants.

But perhaps the most persuasive intelligence was reserved for the September 2022 report.

“The involvement of highly placed political actors remains extremely difficult to trace,” the report noted. “This is mainly because nothing is put in writing, and communication is done through third parties, which cuts out all direct connections. However, various independent sources suggest similar traces of involvement by [the ‘territorial ruler’], namely:

  • “He controls people high up in the power stations to approve contracts for his friends and family.
  • “He exercises firm control over contracts awarded for several types of departments in Mpumalanga province.
  • “He also controls senior officials in the province, such as police and traffic police chiefs, city councils, and other local authority levels.
  • “Information suggests that contract beneficiaries pay [him] kickbacks in cash for tenders awarded due to his influence. Rumours are that he hides some of his money in JoJo water tanks.
  • “Should any investigation be initiated in Mpumalanga, an informant will report to [him] and give instructions to certain senior officials to ensure the investigation is stopped.
  • “The indications are that he controls at least one hit squad operating in Mpumalanga.”

The bottom line (for now)

In the months since Daily Maverick received the intelligence reports, a team of journalists has been working all out to connect the information sourced on the ground to direct documentary evidence of the “territorial ruler’s” involvement in the Eskom crime cartels. This has demanded the gathering of many gigabytes of data from a range of sources, which, taken together, tell the story of corruption at South Africa’s power utility that includes hundreds of names and thousands of supplier companies, both local and international.

In the weeks and months and, perhaps, even the years to come, we intend to tell this larger story under the “Eskom Intelligence Files” banner.

But, as the intelligence reports warned, conclusively implicating the “territorial ruler” has proved an incredibly challenging task.

Although we would have preferred to wait for the bank statements and purchase orders that settled the matter once and for all, recent events in the public domain – most notably, De Ruyter’s aforementioned interview on eNCA – have made publishing what we legally can right now an important contribution to the understanding of just how big an ongoing crime scene Eskom was for years.

Finally, as De Ruyter also made clear in the eNCA interview, there was another Cabinet minister named in the intelligence reports — and we can now reveal that he also appeared in the organogram on the same (topmost) level as the “territorial ruler”.

As the political instability increases and President Ramaphosa continues to delay the announcement of his new Cabinet, which is expected to remove South Africa’s deputy president, the country hovers on the edge of the abyss. DM

Also read: Which minister told former Eskom boss André de Ruyter, ‘you have to enable some people to eat a little bit’?

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Remarkable, as a once “Proud South African” with roots established in the 1820’s I can only pray that all will be well “Someday” Thankyou

  • Josie Rowe-Setz says:

    Staggering. Lost for words.

  • Gavin Brown says:

    All that stands between us and a failed state is the media and the judiciary – is there still time left for them to get across the finishing line ?

    • Gerrie Pretorius says:

      I’m afraid there will be ansolutely zero assistance from SAPS and the NOA to bring anyone to book. The Zuma and Estina and Modise cases are proof.

  • Willem Boshoff says:

    Much of the commentary in the public sphere either considers De Ruyter a saint and victim of political conspiracy or the worst CEO in Eskom’s history. Can DM take on the task of a detailed analysis of De Ruyter’s performance given the circumstances and events? To me it seems like the sabotaging intensified as De Ruyter and his team started closing the taps; a strategy that was successful in removing him and a clear warning to his successor that meddling with the cartels will result in your removal.

    • Jane Crankshaw says:

      These are my thoughts too. The more light that is shone on the problem, the bigger our problems became. Now that all is laid bare, those committing the fraud, corruption and theft seem embolden by their actions and continue with impunity knowing that nothing will be done to stop them!

  • Jo Stielau says:

    Spectacular news gathering and consolidation of information as always. You have really put the ‘cat’ among the pigeons.

  • William Kelly says:

    Was wondering why you guys have been so (relatively) quiet! I prefer it when you are not to be honest, given what you have come up with. Congrats, keep up the good work and carry on.

  • Robert Pegg says:

    Well done to Daily Maverick for continuing to investigate this. The rot starts at the top but when will it stop ?

  • Ian Gwilt says:

    So maybe the delay is because one of these ministers was to be retained but the Genie is now out of the bottle
    Big shit if he was retained and his name came out
    As you noted the Deputy President from Mpumalanga has resigned and the Police Brigadier has been relieved of her duties.

  • Ian Gwilt says:

    I forgot to mention in my previous post the EFF are very quiet
    Maybe cozying up to their new buddies in public with the shit storm about to break could be problematic for them.

  • Rehana Moola says:

    Thank you DM!

  • Arnold Nardy says:

    Well done Daily Maverick – this is big!!!!

  • David Bristow says:

    To get to the top you have to make deals with the devil. Ramaphosa made his deal with a devil in Mpumalanga to retain the presidency against a concerted RET (mainly Zulu) faction. So in a nutshell he (our past and present president) sacrificed Eskom to prevent Zuma getting back in through the parliamentary door. I guess it was a shade on the brighter side of a dark Pyrrhic victory.

  • Jeff Bolus says:

    The sooner these Cabinet-level names are made public, the sooner we will stop the rot and excise this cancer from our society. Cry the beloved Country.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    So all that stuff from Mbulula (and the ANC) about Ruyter being a right-wing activist (with Zilch evidence) was all bullshit and bluster. No doubt he’s invested too in taking down the state! Can the ANC soil itself any more? This is awful news, but I’m glad the public is getting closer to the truth about what is really going on and who’s orchestrating it. Strength and safety as you continue to dig. And thank you.

    • Campbell Tyler says:

      The justified outrage at the ANC in these comments is unfortunately not balanced by the outrage that should be there in almost equal amounts at the private sector companies that are the other partner. It takes two to tango.

  • Richard Bryant says:

    Just think what putins strategy is in Ukraine. Destabilise the political environment and attack the energy grid. It’s a copy book on how to overthrow a State. We all thought the RET faction was dead?

    • Jane Crankshaw says:

      Well said! The exposure of this corruption and the mafia cartels has resulted in our greylisting and the further collapse of the Rand. A perfect way to radically transform our Economy so that everyone ends up with nothing and the politically connected run off to Dubai with the spoils! Closing the Dubai door would put a stop to this thieving – when there is nowhere to hide, the thieving will stop!

    • Helen Harper says:

      Connect the dots … or the air miles to Moskow.

  • Allauddin Thobani Thobani says:

    Now FIKILE will announce that Kevin Bloom is also part of CEO DeRuyter’s cabale, and Kevin must be investigated

  • Dale Knowles-Gaylard says:

    I have no words other than to say that I am thankful for those in the media who are willing to risk so much to bring us the truth. I can only hope that the power that ‘the people’ have can somehow shift things and that the judiciary stands firm.

    • Truth Seeker says:

      I have it from a very reliable source that Shamila Batohi was asked by Ramaphosa to apply for her position provided she was his Lackey.

      Prior to this appointment, she was doing research at The Hague and it was embarrassing to note her lack of knowledge in a field she should be an expert.

  • Peter Dexter says:

    Once again, Well done DM team! Keep up the good work – South Africa owes you big time.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Congratulations. Hope you have taken all measures necessary to keep your staff save.

  • Paul Searra says:

    Brilliant journalism and news gathering .It really is time that the we are made aware of the facts however disturbing .We need to see some CEOs of companies
    across the board weighing in .Politicians cant be enabled to run companies .We need some leadership to rally behind and get rid of these incompetent bloated assholes. Good luck to all those brave journalists out there and keep us posted

  • Patrick Griffiths Griffiths says:

    Cry our beloved country!.
    We have exceptional South Africans dedicated to exposing the cancer that has become endemic in the ANC.
    For our and our children’s sake may the ruling party be unseated, it malignancies dissected and all those responsible for our pain and suffering never be allowed to walk free again.
    To the trusted staff of the DM you are our eyes and ears – thankyou.

  • Esskay Esskay says:

    Very scary, and I hope DM and the journalists involved in this are well protected

  • Confucious Says says:

    They just can’t help them selves! They are compelled to be corrupt, steal and break. Well done DM! Please hang in there and keep the public informed of their devious plans!

  • Alison Markgraaff says:

    Thank you for once again exposing the truth – or at least in the process of doing so. Also for exonerating André de Ruyter.

  • Christopher Lang says:

    Any efficient organisation has systems or mechanisms in place to perform successfully. If what we read is true, there must be a woeful lack of management and control. And we know this is a fact by the appalling state of our government departments and SOE’s!
    In the example cited for instance, all the stock in the stores should be accounted for on an inventory. When an item is issued, there must be a delivery document that automatically removes it from the stock list. With the kind of losses and huge amounts of money involved that we read about, the stores should conduct a stock taking exercise more frequently than the oblugatory annual assessment.
    One has to be naive to think that the people employed in our government are concerned about judicious spending of our tax funds!

  • Denzil Williams says:

    I don’t know how the starving people in this country can sit back and accept this and continue to tick their votes in the same blocks

    • Jane Crankshaw says:

      “Forgive them for they know not what they do”
      For all his talk of free education, Zuma ( fairly uneducated himself) knows that keeping people ignorant gives you control over them. The majority who are jobless, homeless or just trying to stay alive are too busy finding some way of surviving another day – they will vote for who ever gives them a food parcel or promises of a better future. The ANC and EFF are counting on this for their coalition in the next election!

      • Don Haynes-Smart says:

        Correct Jane, most of the ANC voting fodder are blissfully unaware, and those that are will be grateful for any handout or promise of a handout shortly before elections. Remember the government food parcels being delivered in KZN pre-elections and being told ‘This is from the ANC’
        There was a hint on another post that the incoming ‘influential person’ for electricity (new Minister or Eskom CEO?) is Mantashe’s son in law – lets watch this development.

        • virginia crawford says:

          I disagree: yhe poor bear the brunt of the looting and unemployment problems- they are painfully aware. But a third of the registered voters didn’t vote and I think it is largely exANC supporters who believe that not voting sends a message. But the ANC don’t care. It is up to the political parties, and us, to get people to vote. A massive voter education should start this year.

  • Carol Stewart says:

    Amazing work, congratulations. ‘Cat’ out the bag. Let’s hope this one has become enough of a liability that he is left out in the cold once and for all and gets what is coming to him

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    We can only hope that DM and other investigative publications get to the bottom of this and get it into the public domain with concrete evidence as soon as possible. We then prosecutors with an iron will to get these scumbags into prison for treason and murder for the rest of their lives. I’d like to see us follow El Salvador’s example and build a massive super-prison where crooked politicians and their networks, along with the gangsters ruining our communities are dumped, with none of them eligible for parole for 25 years. We need a complete firebreak in the system and hopefully the bulk of them die behind bars.

  • Patrick O'Shea says:

    Round them up, strip them of all their assets and force them to build a new prison to house them. Well done DM, world-class journalism.

  • Hilary Clark says:

    Brilliant and courageous DM . Sterkte and stay safe .

  • Colleen Dardagan says:

    Outstanding journalism – thank you.

  • John Forbes says:

    The obvious suspects alluded to by the ESKOM CEO:
    PG the one who was aware, but dare not say thing, and who has now taken affront at the “disclosures” by AdR

    GM, who has not added an iota to the grid during his time, who is allegedly against solar and wind, who is in favour of coal and Karpowerships, the most obvious culprit, perhaps too obvious.

    On the other hand, there is Mpumlanga’s past territorial boss, DM who was allegedly involved with land scams in the province, who swung the vote against JZ at the last minute, what was his price? To be DP and merely sit entirely in the shadows, make periodical secret trips to Russia for “medical” reasons and at the end of the day, go like a lamb with no contestation and in fact even resign for no good reason?

    Perhaps the long term plan is to collapse ESKOM and bring in Rosatom to build new power stations?

    • Bryan Bailey says:

      Why all the acronyms?

      • Johan Buys says:

        DM, GM + LS or NDZ (JZ proxy) to feed RET 😉

      • John Forbes says:

        Lazy or simply cautious? I am sure you may work it out. Almost certainly “their” intelligence services scan the likes of the Daily Maverick for info. The PAN for one. Sorry 😞 another acronym! Principle Agents Network, a clandestine alternative set of spys set up under the State Security Agency (SSA) under Arthur Fraser. Ref. The President’s Keepers by Jacques Pauw.

  • Zachie le Roux says:

    Who could have forseen that De Ruyter as an ANC appointment would have led to these revelations! The ANC top brass surely must be kicking themselves now.

  • Bruce Q says:

    Brilliant and brave reporting.
    Congrats to you Kevin, and the redoubtable Daily Maverick team!
    And releasing this information just after Mr. de Ruyter’s explosive interview was perfect indeed.
    Oh, when will this terrible house of cards collapse?
    The winds are blowing.

    • Claerwen Howie says:

      Brilliant, incisive reporting. DM you are a light in the gathering darkness that threatens to overwhelm our beloved country. For ‘gathering darkness’ read outrageous corruption and a blatant disregard for most of this country’s inhabitants. I also call on all those high-end car dealerships to show some spine and REFUSE to ‘sell’ or ‘lease’ cars to anyone with political connections. Look at yourselves in the mirror. Is dreadful corruption really justified?

  • jcdville stormers says:

    O where is the charge of “High Treason”String them up,all these Commie criminals.

    • Johann Olivier says:

      Please do not muddy the waters by referring to ‘Commie criminals’. It’s like calling Putin a Commie criminal. He’s not. He’s not a Communist – whatever one may think about Communism (I certainly am not in favour! Who could be?). These are simply amoral criminals who have captured states to benefit themselves. They do not even pretend to have any philosophy.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Erect a statue for daily maverick and its staff!!!

  • Tim Price says:

    Wow, when you thought the ANC could not go any lower, you have this. Post “State Capture” and the Zondo Commission and its still going on brazenly. Incompetent criminal government left Eskom to the wolves by ignoring need for extra generation and then the same government tries to break Eskom via its theft networks. This will be a source of movies and books for years.

  • sakkielearmonth says:

    Treason, surely!!!!

  • Johan Buys says:

    Could somebody not please anonymously leak a summary with names to the presidency before the cabinet reshuffle? CR consulted with cosatu and the communists about the reshuffle : surely he’d consider some more input…

  • Peter Geddes says:

    Great journalism. This is why I support the DM!
    Thanks for joining the dots for us. When we have an understanding, it’s easier to bear this dreadful situation and to remain hopeful.

  • Thys Buitendag says:

    very happy that I started supporting DM. I am just lost for words. The rot in SA is so entrenched it is mind blowing. No wonder we got grey listed. All I can say is a big thank you to all the investigative journalists!!

  • Neil Parker says:

    Thanks for all your hard work – I think your report totally vindicates what De Ruyter has said as well providing good reason why he fears for his life. We need to expose this garbage in our society and root it out totally – all the more so when there are threats on the lives of competent and principled professionals such as De Ruyter. Can we also please probe further into the Deokoran murder – it’s gone quiet and we need to know which highly placed thugs were responsible. More of the same here I have no doubt!

  • Grenville Wilson says:

    Well done DM! You will note that I always comment and castigate DM for poor journalism, but for this article I reserve the highest praise. Well done! Give the man(Kevin Bloom) a Bells! Not the minister of fiance for kicking the can down the road!

  • Jamie Meyer says:

    Unbelievable. Sometimes it feels like you guys really are all that stands between us and the abyss – fantastic investigative journalism, the ANC must rue the day the Daily Maverick formed. This article has finally convinced me to reach into my own pocket and support you. Keep up the good work – SA needs you now more than ever.

  • Adrian Dickson says:

    Thank you

  • Stuart Woodhead says:

    So when, if ever, will these thieves/saboteurs/treasonists be arrested and charged with all these crimes?

  • well done DM! Im actually going to increase my donation. It is individuals like yourselves, (and a few other organisations and people) that are our only hope in avoiding a Zimbabwe style ending. And I do not understand why the West is not getting involved? Or maybe i have missed something?

  • Johan Buys says:

    About the ghost deliveries trail : the vendor received his Rx million. He has no corresponding purchase of the item and no expenses (other than the bribes and those are not tax deductible as China Rail discovered). So a SARS audit would be interesting as it will delve into the validity of the claimed expenses and test some of those documents to the suppliers of the crooked supplier. Crooks rarely run their tax affairs and VAT by the book, as Al Capone discovered when in the end he was jailed by the IRS.

    Pass the company info on to a trusted person inside SARS.

  • Andries Gouws says:

    Kevin Bloom & Co, you are a national treasure! We salute you. I’ll sleep more peacefully tonight knowing you are on this case.

  • Tracy Smith says:

    Incredible investigative journalism and courage to publish, exposing the reality of what South Africa has become. We are all indebted to you DM, and in awe frankly.

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    The situation is even worse than I thought. I got the creeps reading the article. Scary stuff😲😖😭

  • José Lueje says:

    I can’t possibly credit any of the soon to be named, having the capacity to develop such a magnificent scheme!.
    A brilliant mastermind must be behind.

  • Lee Cairns says:

    Brilliant and brave journalism, thank you DM.
    So when can you legally tell us it’s David Mabuza?

  • Eugene Isaacs says:

    Kevin Bloom… profoundest respect for you sir!

  • What's Happening says:

    Mind blowing! May God protect you guys as you dig out the truth.

  • Kim Tobias says:

    Kevin Bloom, you deserve the journalism award for articulating the scourge and plundering of this SOE. Without fierce journalists like you we would “be in the dark” over who/what/where. We are held to ransom by these selfish thieves who enrich a mere elite few and leave everyone by the way side with no power, jobs and hope. Thank you for “keeping the lights on” in your investigations.

  • michael richman says:

    check out on youtube what the authorities in EL SALVADOR have done a new prison built in seven months to house 60 thousand prisoners once in not coming out just to see how they are handled not for the squeamish but had to be done
    look up mega prison el salvador

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    Very excellent piece of journalism that is very educational and informative. The information by de Ruyter has left South Africans very clear on who is responsible for the blackouts. This article has framed the criminality behind the blackouts. The statements by Mondli Gungubele are very concerning but also interesting given this article. The other interesting character is one Pravin Gordhan who has been punting state capture ad infinitum and sabotage and refused to tell us about who was sabotaging Eskom. This article does two things from an analytical perspective, it provides information that is new in the public domain and the modus operandi of the criminals behind the black outs and thirdly how they are linked to senior ministers and ultimately to the ANC. The problem now that we have to deal with as a country is firstly the Cabinet and Ministers responsible for a secure supply of energy, the second is the failure by the adult day care centre called parliament to hold Pravin Gordhan accountable for the issues that have bedevilled Eskom . We are aware that Sahlulele Luzipho and Khaya Magaxa are just political thugs who are thinking with their stomach and their attack on de Ruyter is orchestrated for that parliament to continue to overlook the failure of ANC Ministers to do their job. Given this information, the ending of blackouts is a bridge too far unless Mantashe knows how in six months he will end it.

  • Easy Does It says:

    The guessing game for readers.
    “Who has been agitating to ensure that SA uses coal and stalls renewables?” “why is DD in a hurry to leave?”

    Excellent work DM Team

  • Antony Goedhals says:

    Well done DM! And thank you André De Ruyter for your courageous exposé of the corruption at Eskom. You are an inspiration, and men like you give hope for a happier future! Be safe.

  • Trevor Thompson says:

    Thanks again Daily Maverick.
    The time is here for all South Africans to realise the games played by the ANC are nothing other than self-enrichment programs. The SOE’s are nothing but cash cows, never meant to deliver services – only cash to the beneficiaries of supreme corruption. Election as an ANC representative is the key to success in life.
    All of this under the guise of socialism to benefit the poor and oppressed. All the while depressing the economy, drying up foreign investment, making a pariah state of this beautiful country.
    We raise our colours to support Russia who are brazenly trying to steal a sovereign nation in Ukraine. No provokation, no reason other than than the misguided dreams of a dictator – may he burn in hell. A recent survey showed more than 70% of the country opposes this.
    Come on voters – wake up to what is happening and let’s change this once and for all. Lets set a new path forward where real businesses and jobs can be created for the benefit of all.

    • Johann Olivier says:

      Not socialism, Mr Thompson. Criminality. State looting on a titanic scale. Any social applications simply do not apply. By even introducing them, this becomes a political matter with political cover. It’s not. It’s a legal/criminal matter. It’s simply about stealing.

  • Anesh Govender says:

    This is astonishing. What a complex web this has become. SARS need to follow the money/invoicing trail here and stop harassing small business and taxpayers.

    I can’t wait for the details to surface and to watch the whole circus 🤡

  • Tish Stewart says:

    Here is the real tragedy. If they ran the country as efficiently as they run their corrupt scandals South Africa would be flying.

  • Carl Metelerkamp says:

    This is more than scary! So, with little or no confidence in Eskom I went and bought the biggest low cost petrol generator I could find and connected it to my DB with a change over switch. So all in all Iv’e just accepted my most un positive saying, which is “it is was it is!” By all accounts criminals are running our country with little or no recourse

  • andrecoe says:

    Brilliant journalism!

    Typical spineless anc reaction – attacking the whistleblower, in stead of tackling the problem. I guess our heavily burdened tax payers are expecting too much if we hope to see one totally broken SOE turned around and no longer being a liability and an embarrassment!

  • Gretha Erasmus says:

    Thank you Kevin Bloom.
    Thank you DM.
    Thank you to all the brave investigative journalists and the readers whose comments give me hope that as dark as the night is now, there is a flicker of light, a torch carried through by South Africans who won’t go quietly into the night

  • Papa Red says:

    Pablo Escobar would be proud.

  • Thinker and Doer says:

    Thank you so very much for starting to release all of the findings of this intensive investigation at this particularly critical juncture. This investigation corroborates what Mr De Ruyter indicated in his interview, and it really helps all of the pieces fall clearly into place, including who the real “kingpins” of the ongoing looting of Eskom are. We can already see, with the fightback that is happening from various Ministers trying to rubbish Mr De Ruyter, just how completely implicated the entire ANC is in the looting, and how they are completely desperate and panicking they are, now that the enormous scale and extent of the looting is clearly coming to light. Perhaps this explains some recent unexpected resignations, and why the long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle has been delayed.
    They managed to hound Mr De Ruyter out of Eskom, and they hoped that with him gone, they would be able to get someone pliant appointed as CEO, and resume business as usual. But with Mr De Ruyter’s exposure of what is really going on at Eskom, and the outstanding investigative reporting such as this, hopefully this will finally blow the lid off of all of this and put a stop to all of the corruption and looting and rout these criminal cartels that have destroyed the country. Maybe this will be the point where the tide turns in addressing the crisis. Keep going, DM team! And may Mr De Ruyter receive vital protection, he is certainly at grave risk of other threats to his life, we are indebted to him

  • Truth Seeker says:

    Keep up the good, no doubt exhausting work! Wish I could help

    I cannot wait for the names to be made public but then to trust the Judiciary to actually prosecute and NOT have already come to an agreement with the corrupt on how evidence may be lacking or insufficient so as to ensure the minimum sentence if even that!

    The cANCer must be cut out.

    Their greed knows no limits. They steal and plunder to an extent where there’s NO power instead of looting to a level where power can still be provided

    Sickest of them all!

  • D.R. W says:

    This is a complex and convoluted storyline – hard to connect dots. I hope that more evidence can be presented that names and shames – frightening that we have spiralled into mafiosa state with different fiefdoms. State Capture on steroids

  • Ann Bown says:

    Congratulations to the intelligence team…dangerous work. Great piece DM! This is how the mafia operates, this is how Putin operates and this is now the face of the once glorious ANC! Will Part 2 follow after the cabinet reshuffle?

  • anthony patton says:

    I want to extend my deep and personal thanks to you Kevin Bloom. For the work you (and your team) are doing in publicly exposing the unrelenting ruination of Eskom (and our country). If every one of us had your courage and moral fiber our country would throw off these criminal devils; We the people of South Africa as a collective need to stand up (act) and roar in fury ‘no more!’

  • virginia crawford says:

    Great journalism Mr Bloom: thank you. I would like to appeal to all hackers and hacktavists, especially ones outside SA: please hack Eskom and all its management, hack our politicians and police. We need a Panama Papers style dump of information.

  • T Hutch says:

    Thanks you Kevin Bloom and DM for your brave and intelligent investigative journalism.

  • Steve Stevens says:

    I think the ANC miscalculated when they hired AdR to run Eskom. He was on the one hand the ideal poster boy – the respectable, capable businessman at the helm – and on the other, naive and trusting enough to get on with fixing the infrastructure, reducing the debt and stamping out low level corruption. Stupidly they didn’t cover up the brazen high level looting which any principled CEO would inevitably uncover (now confirmed by DM).

    And more importantly, the end goal hasn’t been achieved. That is, Eskom hasn’t been fixed in time for the next general election.

  • Steven Burnett says:

    it’s depressing to read and to see the full length ETV interview. AdR summed it up when he said that corruption didn’t end when ZS-OAK flew off to Dubai, the players from the training ground moved up a step. There is scope to improve things by weeding it out, but seems the only thing that will force those in power to do this is the fear of losing votes. It’s up to the people to get the message across that this is not acceptable.

  • andrea96 says:

    My guess is that the criminals are from the RET faction. I say that because the article (brilliant, by the way) mentions one of the results of the corrupt campaign was to destabilize government.

  • Mike Bell says:

    It does make so much sense. DD Mabuza had little work as Deputy President and so he went back to what he does best. Corruption in Mpumlanga with all the all the coal and power stations!

    The same DD Mabuza who has persistent rumours swirling that he took out Jimmy Mohlala in ’09. He was Speaker of Nelspruit and a very vocal anti corruption fighter and very annoying to the Premier ambitions of DD and a soccer boss building the 2010 stadium.

    DD Mabuza is very provincial and couldn’t master national politics. He has the charisma of a plank. He has come to power thru corruption and its money leverage and threat of getting you killed. But as deputy president he got no traction nationally and was left behind in the power play. At last years elective conference he was decimated in the voting. He didn’t even make it to the last 80 on the NEC. Highly embarrassing for him and now he is heading for the exit with his tail between his legs. Now it looks like he has spent his energy in the last 4 years raiding Eskom and not much else.

    And the cabinet and NEC knew what he was up to at Eskom! But scared of his hit squad and their own manjana skeletons.

    Here’s to ANC’s 35% in next years election. That is our best hope.

    DD Mabuza the Eskom territorial leader.

  • Sharon S says:

    Firstly – well done to DM for outstanding investigating and reporting . It is astounding the complexity and how extensively organized the corruption and systems are that have been put in place .. IF ONLY they could apply themselves to that extent in doing their jobs properly instead of towards criminality and treason activity that has brought SA to this very dark space – which now has a massive spotlight thanks to de Ruyter and DM and other journalists that have contributed. Can you advise as to whether the RET referred to in ” Presidential Cartel and Radical Economic Transformation (RET) cabal – ” is the EFF ? Another question would be how this information can be used to issue arrest warrants and then criminal proceedings in a country whose police and justice system has been “captured ” ? Is there a route for an international court setting or a jurisdiction outside of SA due to the extent of the corruption and that the criminal activity amounts to treason and has negatively affected the entire nation ? What actions can citizen and residents of South Africa take to bring these people to arrest, justice and be held accountable for crimes committed and jailed and certainly not left in current positions ?

  • howardmollison says:

    Truly a miserable state of affairs.

  • Mohammed Junaid Kader says:

    Thanks Daily Maverick for providing us South African citizens with informative stories that help us make more informed decisions.

  • Andre Toit says:

    Well done DM. We can probably expect a visit from some of the top
    Mafia lads,to come and learn some new tricks !!

  • Geoff Woodruff says:

    It’s when I read articles like this that I know why I subscribe to DM. Well done you journalists and thank you.

  • Jon Quirk says:

    Juvenal asked the question thus …. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    It is crystal-clear now that, in South Africa, now and for the past at least 15 years, there have been absolutely no checks, controls or balances on the egregious and rapacious desire of the ANC to control everything (neutering the police, security apparatii, parliament, the Courts et al to achieve this purpose).

    And the results we can see in Eskom – but the same applies in Transnet, Water Boards, Denel, Municipalities et al – unlimited, unfettered looting and destruction as the cadres steal and destroy it all.

    So again the question is – Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  • Anesh Govender says:

    Report all this to SARS, surely they have the ability to follow the cartels money. I’ll be amazed if all of this is tax compliant. Come on Edward stop harassing poor honest taxpayer and go after the real
    money…

  • Rory Short says:

    Sadly politics attracts two kinds of people, those who are in it for self-service and those who are in it for public service. We in SA are inundated with politicians of the first kind.

  • Gazeley Walker says:

    Companies subject to annual audits and involved in this Eskom feeding scheme need to record their transactions and maintain compliant financial reports, so, now that this is all out there for everyone to see, are the major audit firms applying more resources and attention to their audits?

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    One thing about this country…we are brave enough to totally expose the politically connected corruption that takes place in our country. Most other countries either sweep it under the carpet or ignore the ramifications! This is an enormous positive for which we should be applauded. Now all we need to do is rely on the Judiciary to do its job without fear or favour- Therein lies the rub! Thankyou DM for the digging and exposure….the battle between right and wrong continues……

  • Henri Staub says:

    The role of the ANC government in this debacle is to 🙈🙉🙊.
    I feel despair for the ignorant, the unemployed and the 30% of our population that live below the bread line who vote for the party of the formerly disadvantaged politicians & gangsters who are bringing the country to the tipping point of collapse.

  • Hilary Morris says:

    Very late to the comment party, but the minute our new Minister of Electricity said that the problems at Eskom did not involve corruption, it just confirmed that matters can only get worse. Ramaphosa shows total lack of respect for S. Africans, as in WTF? First loadshedding goes down (which probably means they’re running the systems too hard), and then the Minister warns of possible stage 10 in winter! It is truly a circus of note. Just another crook?

  • Carlo Fourie says:

    DM has just put a target on their back. I suggest you go into hiding as your journalists will get picked off one by one. We are truly a mafia state now, matching Mexico and Colombia.

  • Katharine Ambrose says:

    I hope the European countries wanting to donate funds for the greening of eskom start insisting on checks as to how their funds are channelled. Not an unreasonable ask.

  • maphaneb says:

    Wow Mzanzi!!
    Knew there was going to be backlash when that boy opened his mouth, and the “still to be proven guilty” are going to want his head.

    Caught with hands in cookie jar……

    DM keep it up, we are being entertained at your expense my people of Mzanzi

    As for those who are wishfully thinking that one day shall come, don’t stress, you and I will be dead then form old age.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

Make your taxes work for you

Donate to Daily Maverick’s non-profit arm, the Scorpio Investigative Unit, by 29 February 2024 and you’ll qualify for a tax break.

We issue Section 18A tax certificates for all donations made to Daily Maverick. These can be presented to SARS for tax relief.

Make your donation today

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Otsile Nkadimeng - photo by Thom Pierce

A new community Actionist every week.

Meet the South Africans making a difference. Get Maverick Citizen in your inbox.