Defend Truth


ANC nixes opposition-backed special probe into Eskom cartel corruption, Steenhuisen names DD Mabuza

ANC nixes opposition-backed special probe into Eskom cartel corruption, Steenhuisen names DD Mabuza
From left: Former deputy president David Mabuza. (Photo: Gallo Images / Netwerk 24/ Deaan Vivier) | Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. (Photo: Gallo Images / ER Lombard) | DA leader John Steenhuisen. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

Parliament’s existing committees on public enterprises and energy are sufficient to oversee how Eskom deals with corruption — and ex-CEO André de Ruyter’s ‘childish’, ‘untested’ and ‘unsubstantiated’ claims can’t be the basis for a special ad hoc committee, said ANC legislators.

While this argument has come as the governing ANC issued lawyers’ letters and is preparing a summons over ex-Eskom CEO André de Ruyter’s claims, not only of cartel corruption, but politicians’ involvement, it was Thursday’s debate that lifted the lid on that political connectivity. Bluntly. 

“We all know who this person referred to is, [ex-deputy president David] DD Mabuza. We all know how connected he is with the ANC, and we all know how terrified the ANC is of him,” said DA leader John Steenhuisen when closing the debate on his proposed ad hoc committee to inquire into the full extent of the alleged criminal networks at Eskom. 

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

“The ANC is going to wait until he [Mabuza] is safely ensconced in Russia like they waited for the Guptas to be in Dubai and Mr [Angelo] Agrizzi to be in Italy before this Parliament slowly gets off and does anything.”

The ANC interjected. “You are casting aspersions. DD must sue you!” said ANC MP Thokozile Malinga. All this got lost in the switch of presiding officer that happened as Steenhuisen delivered his closing references to the Guptas’ long-dragging extradition and the Bosasa scandal that enfolded several ANC MPs and leaders.

‘Pure cowardice’

“The leader of the opposition is out of order attacking someone who’s not here. That is pure cowardice,” said ANC MP Bhekizizwe Radebe after ANC MP Fikile Xasa finally took over presiding from ANC MP Mina Lesoma. He said he’d take it up to see what could be done. 

Steenhuisen is protected by parliamentary privilege, which means he can’t be sued for what’s said in the House. Parliamentary tradition is that when such statements are made, they are backed by a substantive motion, or one with proof — or a point of order to that effect is fired off. In Thursday’s debate, amid the switch of presiding chairpersons, no such point of order was made. 

The DA leader went on to say the failure of the ANC in Parliament to properly hold the executive to account was why rotational power cuts would not end. “This is going to be another failure of Parliament — wait and see.” 

For many opposition speakers, it was a déjà vu moment, reminiscent of the Nkandla debacle — when in March 2016 the Constitutional Court ruled Parliament had acted in a manner that was unlawful and “inconsistent with the Constitution” — and also of the State Capture Commission

“[The ANC] has a significant majority in Parliament, allowing it effectively to control oversight of the executive. State Capture happened under its watch,” the commission report said. 

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, who’s heading the class action suit to end rolling blackouts, said: “Our economy cannot sustain the current energy calamity, and we have a responsibility to get to the bottom of this mess.”

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald cautioned, “Don’t hide behind the smokescreen, it must be further investigated by the security services. No, we have that responsibility [as legislators].”

African Transformation Movement leader Vuyolwethu Zungula said that in the absence of the existing committees doing their work, an ad hoc committee had to step up. 

“When Parliament fails in its [oversight] mandate, corruption continues,” he said, adding that De Ruyter had to explain why he went to the media, not Parliament.

All opposition parties except for the African Independence Congress and the National Freedom Party supported the DA’s proposal of an ad hoc committee to “inquire into the full extent of the alleged widespread corruption and unabated operations of criminal networks and cartels at Eskom”, as Thursday’s Order Paper states, and for that ad hoc committee to liaise with the parliamentary committees of police, justice, finance and public enterprises. 

Effectively, this means the way is clear for Parliament’s watchdog on public spending, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to conduct its inquiry into the claims De Ruyter made in the programme My Guest Tonight. Earlier in March, Scopa decided to invite De Ruyter, but also others such as the police boss and Auditor-General.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Scopa inquiry into De Ruyter’s Eskom corruption claims loading, as defence minister skirts questions on Mosi II” 

On Thursday, the ANC argued that no special ad hoc committee was necessary. Committees’ normal oversight was sufficient, said ANC MP Mikateko Mahlaule, while fellow ANC MP Jabulile Mkhwanazi said De Ruyter’s “allegations should be treated as sour grapes”.

‘Childish allegations’

Parliamentary public enterprises committee chairperson Khaya Magaxa  said: “We need not ignore the racial undertone in right-wing parties, such as led by the DA, [and their] obsession with De Ruyter’s childish allegations. Yes, this is childish allegations, chairperson, because he behaved like a spoilt rich child who throws his toys all over the room because his R18-million job reached a dead end,” said Magaxa.

“If the truth can be told, [De] Ruyter used Eskom to drive his independent power producers’ agenda in order to capture Eskom to private accumulation at the expense of the poor of the country, by and large, black people. 

“How can a rational person believe a group chief executive with all the necessary powers on his last day in his office that he left in disgrace make such stupid allegation — and you just don’t have any form of reason, but [you] believe him. Oh my god, please give me a break.” DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    Dear DM reader, your hard earned tax money pays for Khaya Magaxa to demonstrate just how low our parliament has sunk: top 1% of earners in South Africa and not an ounce of intelligence or humanity in that drivel quoted above. Shameful, brazen, callous and 100% ANC.

  • William Kelly says:

    ‘OMG please give me a break’. Says it all really doesn’t it? I see why I wouldn’t be in politics for all the tea in China having to deal with something like that. A new level of muppetry.

  • Teresa K says:

    Clearly the allegations are very true given the ANC’S desperate attempt to block any investigation and then of course, when all intelligent debate fails and you have nothing better to offer, pull the race card. From the outset DD Mabuza’s grubby little hands were all over this. What a pathetic, spineless, shameless, corrupt bunch of thugs. If the allegations are untrue, why then the panic about properly investigating them and getting to the truth? The Anc clearly believes we are all as intellectually challenged as they are and that people believe the dribble that flows from their forked tongues. Enough already.

  • Johan Fick says:

    Yes well said! It does burn one’s butt, doesn’t it? The tide will turn, and imbecilles now sitting in parliament will be out on the streets.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    The idiotic comments by the majority party demonstrates that it is corrupt to the core.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    History will repeat itself for as long as the ANC can make it repeat.

  • Louise van Dyk says:

    No one more like a spoilt brat than Magaxa as well as the ANC members with their scandilous insults thrown at de Ruyter. If you believe them, your loyalty to our Country is biased.

  • Peter Slingsby says:

    Khaya Magaxa: another fine example of the superfluity of intellectual prowess available within the ANC’s parliamentary caucus. Small wonder that in the face of endless failure the President simply does not know what to do; small wonder that his cabinet remains stuffed with rubbish …

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    this parliament is like a school playground with equally silly little boys and girls hurling stupid comments at each other hoping to sound intelligent but showing themselves up as idiots. the whole lot of them have destroyed this country with their cowardice and childish behaviour. if you want proof look at the three fingers pointing at yourselves!

  • L Dennis says:

    Totally agree Teresa the sinking titanic anc ship a disgrace. All Soe should be investigated privately.
    To the evil plotters treasures of wickedness and ill gotten gains do not profit. Dishonest wealth will dwindle, but what’s earned through hard work will be multiplied. Grateful for parties like the DA and others that support a proper investigation into the cartel at Eskom. I pray that the schemes they device will not prevail. I will keep on praying for our beautiful country. Nkosi sikelel iafrika.

  • Caroline de Braganza says:

    Childish allegations? Racial undertone? Andre de Ruyter’s job didn’t reach a dead end – he resigned! He who shouts the loudest has the most to hide – the ANC is very afraid of the truth.

  • frances hardie says:

    Non illegitimi carborundum…

  • Craig Cauvin says:

    The vociferous opposition tells every South African all they need to know! It’s probably FAR worse than AdR even dreamed.
    How about an ‘independent’ enquiry DM?

  • Dr Know says:

    Mr Magaxa deserves a break. Arm or leg, Khaya?

  • Frans Flippo says:

    The irony of Magaxa’s comments is that it is precisely the “by and large” black poor people that the ANC has failed by not addressing the corruption at the root of the Eskom energy crisis. Rich people can buy solar panels and generators and generally not be bothered too much by load shedding. Poor people do not have these means. One of any democratic government’s duties is protecting the poor and vulnerable in society. ANC has miserably failed at this and any rhetoric of theirs claiming that they are the only ones standing up for poor black people is laughingly and obviously theatre, and nothing else.

  • Kerry van Schalkwyk says:

    The mind boggles at how low the ANC can sink – even after the Zondo Commission specifically reported on the Eskom corruption, deliberate sabotage & looting, these lowlife politicians would rather see the country go further down the tubes than actually admit that their cadres are responsible for the epic disaster of another SOE. Andre de Ruyter just had the guts to say outwardly what everyone knows – Eskom is run by ANC mafia politicians and now he’s the pariah! Not one ounce of moral or intellectual integrity is left in that party (if there ever was any!). Sitting in their ivory towers licking their lips, playing their violins,while SA burns.

  • jean64 says:

    It is incredibly interesting that the race card is being played again. To call the DA a right wing party is again trying to diminish what is tragic issue facing each and every South African, but especially poor. However, how much more could have been done for the poor if there had not been the state capture and huge theft that took place under the tenure of the ANC.
    The deflection and redirection is stale and this card has been played far too many times.

    As a tax payer in the country, I would gladly pay this if it were to go into the uplifting of the poor access to proper facilities, the dramatic increase of the RDP allocation, support of SME development for exponential job creation.

    Where does our tax go? Bailing out Eskom multiple times. Bailing out SAA multiple times. Bailing out the post office. Bailing out the railways. And the bailing out just goes on and on and on. Leaving the tax payers to pay for mismanagement over and over again. Where should this money have been spent? You got it, on the poor and proper governance.

    Lets not forget that we are dealing with the “fat cats”. Look at the salaries and the expensive homes and all other adornments. By now, any other company would be doing lifestyle audits.

    No justice. No accountability. Zondo a complete waste of tax payer money – no arrests. Always nearly there.

    Centralised power is a socialist agenda that keeps the poor, poor while the top live lives of luxury. Is that not socialism at it’s best?

  • Bradley Welcome says:

    The lady doth protest too much

  • lilley.roger says:

    Perhaps the ANC ‘comrades’ reject an independent investigation because they know will expose the corrupt politicians and embarrass the party even more. But whether the ANC likes it or not – Parliament is duty-bound to undertake an investigation and reveal the truth. It’s no good asking the fox who ate the chickens – you’ll never get an honest answer. Instead of wasting taxpayers’ money on getting German companies to evaluate Eskom’s strengths and weaknesses, the government should rather get an independent study into De Ruyter’s accusations. Then be ready to expose, punish and remove the offending individuals.

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    These are the very same people who are holding the hearings on the Public Protector’s fitness to hold office when they are unfit public representatives and the DA is working with them to protect people who now have been proven beyond any doubt to be incompetent. You cannot expect appointed MPs who owe their living to the very leadership that they ought to hold to account not to
    think with their stomachs. As the ANC vote shrinks so the stomach politics grow.
    The competition to remain a relevant cheque collector with seats going below 200 next year has become the determining factor with no interests of the public.
    Some of us have questioned the charade of Section 194 Committee whose ultimate outcome would be to weaken the office of the Public Protector in an act of vindictiveness because it has rightly or wrongly fingered ANC malfeasance. The DA must think very hard whether it is worth it to pursue the process when the Public Protector is leaving in October. The reality of the process with the conduct of ANC MPs for consistently overlooking executive corruption and incompetence might be to weaken an institution that has served this country better than that parliament. This goes for legal plumbers whose coefficient of thinking leaves a lot to be desired because they ignore the fact that despite the flaws in the incumbent, we need that office. The currencharade suits criminals in the ruling party including prospective ones. Finally killing the office with the DA help.

  • Peter Dexter says:

    Section 47 (1) of the Constitution is in desperate need of rewriting. This section defines the prerequisites to become an MP. The primary defect: there is no competence requirement at all. Not even literacy! The integrity standard is also alarmingly low, so it’s no surprise our current crop of MP’s are very disappointing

  • Trenton Carr says:

    Brain dead comments in parliament from the ANC only leads to more brain- and taxpayer drain. They make it seems so hopeless.

  • roland rink says:

    The solution to the vast majority of South Africa’s problems is very simple – Stop lying, stop stealing.

  • Petrus Kleinhans says:

    African National Corruption Party, of course. The president sits on his sofa trone full of foreign cash and presides over the ex-vice president’s rape of the country’s electricity utility. The ANC cadres are gang-raping the hopes and dreams of 60 million ordinary South Africans. Vote national corruption! Viva national corruption! Viva!

  • andrea96 says:

    Khaya Magaxa. Mamparra of the week.

  • nickha says:

    Clearly, the ANC in Parliament is the biggest obstacle in the process to investigate corruption and criminality. These issues will never be resolved with the lack of integrity and political will displayed by the ANC.

  • William Dryden says:

    They always bring out the race card when trying to defend what they no is true, I also belive that Mabuza and Mantashe both have a hand in the Eskom Cookie jar and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were two of the 4 mafia gangs looting Eskom.

  • Martin Bongers says:

    Khaya Magaxa clearly shows the disdain the ANC has for business leaders in RSA. Saying the Ex Eskom CEO was captured by independent power producers to counter the accusation of state capture is as juvenile as calling someone else a child. (Maybe Khaya could practice some empathy and consider how keen he would be to continue a job after an attempt was made on his life!)

    The government keeps asking business leaders and investors to invest in the grid and power generation. Profit is not evil if you are adding value. The ideologue sees capitalism as only evil and the state as only good. Nuance makes for bad soundbites. It does however make the basis for better decisions.

    The ANC is viciously trying to defend the undefendable. The accusations definitely requires special attention due to the billions it costs every South-Africans every day!

  • Paul Hjul says:

    I fear the opposition members of Parliament are neglecting a simple point. (The ANC members of intentionally ignoring the same point.) :

    According to the President there is a need for a minister for electricity. Well if there is a minister why is there no oversight committee for that ministry.

    Moreover the executive has determined it necessary to use a state of disaster to address Eskom. A state of disaster requires Parliamentary oversight – a committee of the whole house sitting is warranted to address a national state of disaster. Of course a state of disaster and that statute is not in the constitutional territory of a state of emergency but that is a matter of degree not principle.

    It doesn’t matter how at fault the ANC is the fact that the executive itself has determined Eskom to be an issue of the nature resulting in a dedicated cabinet position and in the use of disaster legislation dictates additional activity from Parliament.

  • Ernest Esterhuizen says:

    Cyril says that only a vote can remove him. And so shall it be – the anc will be loadshed in 2024. Even if they do the right thing while in power, they will be out of power. To those in the anc who still have a conscience, I leave you with the following quote: “Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish plotting. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.”

  • Marina Hall says:

    Chairperson Mr. Magaza, sir, “Forensic procurement investigations, Financial irregularities, maladministration, etc.” are issues that the Public Enterprises Portfolio Committee “has been grappling with” since the 5th Parliament ending 2019.
    (Extracted from File name: PC_Public_Enterprises_5th_Parliament_2014_-_2019)

    If a special committee is truly not necessary, please share exactly what progress this Committee has made over the past 3 years in presenting solutions to the House for debate and decision-making; specifically those pertaining to resolving matters at Eskom. During the 5th term, this Committee grappled with and effectively carried these forward to the next parliamentary term as outstanding issues.

    Wouldn’t you agree that given the dire situation (considering Eskom’s impact on every aspect of our country, our economy, the lives of the very poor that you referenced), that another way needs to be found with extreme urgency to get to the bottom of these dire issues at Eskom and get them resolved? Indeed the time for grappling has passed; decisive actions are needed now.

    Please could you explain why an oversight Committee with such weighty and grave matters to attend to can merely muster an attendance rate of 65% across 6 meetings for 2023 (rated 114 out of 156) during our darkest hours? With the same attendance average for the past 3 years, perhaps now IS the time to appoint a special committee with the interest, time & dedicated focus to address the Eskom issues?

  • Hazel Pollak says:

    I have a question: Why are there no Zulu, Xhosa. Tswana, or any of the other language-speakers in S.A. making comments on this?
    Is it a language problem?
    Are you only reaching the people who agree with you?

    • Leon Dicker says:

      Mmm… That question has also crossed my mind. The authors are from a wide cross-section of society, but that diversity does not appear in the comments.

  • George van der Watt says:

    The ANC are not afraid of DD. This is much more ominous. This is about strategic control of the Southern tip of Africa and employing any means to achieve it. The ANC are just pawns in a game engineered by the master puppeteer himself. Follow the dots……..

  • greigdoveygd says:

    Good grief!! The looting will never end…

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    Where is the NPA? Have there been any notable arrests since the Zondo report was published? Some ANC MPs might not talk so much nonsense, if their colleagues had started to go AWOL.

  • 1957.tonycole says:

    oh dear the ANC has gone into Mkandla mode. Little do these useful pawns realise that if they do not address the items De Ruyter raised they will not be sitting in Parliament. Presage

  • Jan Zandberg says:

    The ANC finds every trick or opportunity to send money to Cuba to pay for their support during the struggle. Is it far fetched to reason that the visits of DD to Russia is to take some of the loot for the same reason?

  • Its like Groundhog Day!!!!.
    Didnt Einstein say that the definition of Stupidity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome? Will the ANC never learn.
    I guess until the top corrupt thieves are prosecuted and put in jail, it will continue. At the moment there are no consequences for their activities and the party continues to protect them.

    • Renn Moore says:

      The real tragedy is the total loss of self-respect of the government spokesmen. Do they even have enough intelligence to realize that somewhere in the future their children will be confronted by this blatant disregard for truth and lack of self-respect. Can you imagine the humiliation of those who have to admit that these were their forebears?

  • Gregory Scott says:

    The low level of intellect of these MP’s is reflected in their irrational thought and incoherent comments.
    Voetsek ANC!

  • Helen Swingler says:

    The governing party backed into a laager again, cursing the thunder from the impending storm. Batten down the JoJo tanks.

  • psdayah4 says:

    In the next election the people will decide if it’s party or country. If it’s party prepare to suffer, if it’s country, there’s some hope.

  • Leon Dicker says:

    Just as I was getting all hot under the collar about the Queen of Hearts logic of voting “nyet” to the establishment of a parliamentary investigation into “untested” and “unsubstantiated” allegations of corruption- and cartels at Eskom, the retired litigator in me burst forth, like Superman from a phone booth, tapped me on the shoulder and, hands on hips, started tapping an inpatient foot.
    Then I saw it. The ruling party, sundry apparatchiks and cadres are suing the former CEO of Eskom or are about to do so. That sent me down a rabbit hole of speculation: just what is the cause of action? That’s obvious. It must be defamation.
    So, besides lining the pockets of former colleagues from the Bar and, of course, all the attendant attorneys, each plaintiff falls into one of the most agonising traps in civil litigation. It is exceedingly dangerous to sue for defamation. One effectively becomes the author of one’s own doom. All the dirty washing those pretentious parliamentary prats have so smugly swept, or so they think (I use the term laughingly, and in its widest possible meaning), will be examined forensically and painstakingly — piece by every damning piece, repeatedly, all the way up to Braamfontein, via Bloemfontein. Now, I know what you’re thinking. No, I’m not tipping anyone the wink. For that to be the case, one must make a fundamentally flawed assumption about politicians’ ability, not just to think, but to do so strategically. And you truly think I need to be concerned?

    • Ian Gwilt says:

      Read the outcome of Oscar Wilde suing for Defamation
      I can picture defence lawyers salivating at the the thought of being given the opportunity to drag out the known and probably the less known cases of corruption
      I doubt that there is enough time in a trial to bring it all out, but it could be a great precursor to the election.
      Go for it Fikile, you know it is the right thing to do.

  • Ian McClure says:

    I agree with Hazel .
    Strategically this wonderful investigative journalism and editorship is wasted on the converted .
    If the ANC return ( horror of horrors ! ) in 2024 , it will be because the poorly educated mostly rural mother tongue speakers are very rarely exposed to the truth – or non-ANC views .
    I am told by mother tongue readers of ( e.g. Isolezwe , Ilanga) they are mostly ignorant of the ANC shenanigans . A combination of Nationalist and ANC deprivation of adequate education has seen to that !”
    – talk about integrity at Editors Forums ( or are some editors also deployed – or members of The Party ? ) with commitments to journalistic integrity.
    – drops of bundles of ( free / excess ) DM 168 at strategic deprived areas .
    Desperate measures for a desperate scenario .
    These desperate measures may save a sinking Republic.

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


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.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options