Eskom apologises for spying on NGOs

2013-11-11 14:51

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Cape Town – Eskom has publicly apologised to three environmental NGO’s after it was accused of spying on them.

“The use of private companies to gather intelligence from stakeholders is unacceptable and not how Eskom does business,” Eskom CEO Brian Dames said.

“To the extent that this may have happened as a consequence, even if unintended, is regrettable and Eskom apologises for this.”

Eskom contracted intelligence services company Swartberg to gather information on Greenpeace, groundwork, and Earthlife Africa.

According to Tristen Taylor, project co-ordinator for Earthlife Africa, Eskom paid Swartberg between R1.5-10m for intelligence services.

“The company infiltrated public meetings, marches, demonstrations and made analysis of what was going on,” he told News24.

“One incident of suspected telephone surveillance has been passed on to the South Africa Police Service,” he said.

In earlier reports 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"Eskom is threatened by the fact that coal is getting outdated as an economic model for energy production...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 has made a full disclosure of its activities to the respective organisations.

In a joint statement the representatives said that their key demands for a full internal investigation and public apology had been met.

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Read more on:    greenpeace  |  earthlife africa  |  eskom  |  energy

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