Eskom accused of spying on activists

2013-02-13 14:50
Eskom has been accused of spying on activists. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Eskom has been accused of spying on activists. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Power utility Eskom spied on the activities of green organisations in the country, Earthlife Africa and Greenpeace claimed on Wednesday.

"The spying is [reminiscent] of the apartheid government's tactics," Earthlife Africa director Tristen Taylor said in Johannesburg.

"We want an apology from Eskom, not to us only, but to the nation as a whole. This is illegal."

He, along with representatives of Greenpeace, briefed reporters on their move to withdraw from Eskom's NGO forum.

They said they were weighing their options on whether to lay charges against Eskom.

Greenpeace Africa director Michael Onyeka said Eskom had not denied the spying activities.

"This has also been happening within various communities where Eskom operates, including [around] Medupi power station, Lephalale, and other areas."

The organisation would not say how the spying was done.

Taylor said Eskom felt threatened by the organisation's stance for clean energy production.

"Eskom is threatened by the fact that coal is getting outdated as an economic model for energy production... the power utility is threatened by that."

Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe said the company had terminated its contract with Swartberg Intelligence Support.

"As soon as it was confirmed internally that the firm was indeed appointed at Medupi, and that the scope included the gathering of intelligence, Eskom’s chief executive Brian Dames issued an immediate instruction to terminate such intelligence services."

"This behaviour is unacceptable and not in line with our values as a company," Dames said.

Joffe said Eskom had since launched a probe into whether any laws were broken and to make sure no other similar services were in use.

"Eskom has also embarked on a policy review to ensure that in the procurement of legitimate security support and services, similar actions are avoided in future."
Read more on:    greenpeace  |  earthlife africa  |  eskom  |  environment

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.