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NUM rejects report clearing Eskom’s CEO of racism

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu says they want Parliament to investigate the allegations against De Ruyter

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has rejected the report clearing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter of racism.

Eskom announced that its Board has received the report from Advocate Ishmael Semenya who was appointed to investigate the claims.

Full statement from Eskom Board:

The allegations included the abuse of power, racial discrimination, poor governance, irregular recruitment, irregular staff appointments as well as unlawful procurement.

The independent investigation was instituted after Eskom’s former head of procurement, Solly Tshitangano, wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the board’s chair, Malegapuru Makgoba alleging that De Ruyter favoured white employees.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu says they want Parliament to investigate the allegations.

“We are not surprised that the Eskom GCEO was exonerated by the internal inquiry appointed by Eskom. As the NUM we never believed in this process. We issued a statement during the time when the allegations were made that we want Scopa in Parliament to investigate these allegations. So we are calling on Scopa to investigate these allegations.”

Eskom’s response

Eskom spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, says Advocate Semenya could not find evidence to substantiate claims of De Ruyter’s poor governance.

“The advocate could also not find any substantiation to the charge of poor governance against the Chief Executive or against Eskom. There was also no substantiation to the allegations that the recruitment processes conducted by the Chief Executive were irregular and no action will be taken against anybody at Eskom. Mr Tshitangano no longer works for Eskom as of Friday the 28th of May.”

De Ruyter was appointed by Eskom in November 2019 to turn around the struggling utility, which was tarnished by years of corruption allegations and criticized by the public and industries alike for widespread power cuts.

Commenting on Semenya’s report, Eskom’s board said it had “no hesitation in accepting it in its entirety.” –additional reporting by Reuters

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