Eskom appoints advocate to head De Ruyter racism inquiry

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Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter in January, 2020.
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter in January, 2020.
Gallo Images/Business Day/Freddy Mavunda

The independent inquiry into allegation of racism and abuse of power by Eskom CEO chief executive Andre de Ruyter will be headed by senior advocate Ishmael Semenya.

De Ruyter, who took over as Eskom CEO in January 2020, is facing allegations of racial bias levelled against him by his Chief Procurement Officer, Solly Tshitangano, who is currently on suspension. Tshitangano accused his boss of flouting procurement guidelines and his conduct when dealing with black suppliers, who are said to be treated differently to white contractors.

"The board has committed to a transparent process and to provide updates at critical stages of the inquiry," said Eskom.

Semenya is expected to make recommendations to the board upon the finalisation of the inquiry which is not yet underway. There had been calls for De Ruyter to step aside during the course of the investigation against him, but he told the media last month that the board had decided to allow him to continue with his duties.

The executive is currently driving a turnaround plan for the power utility which is beset by capacity challenges that have led to rolling power outages.

In a separate matter last year, De Ruyter was cleared of allegations that he misled the board in a decision to cancel fuel contracts - Econ Oil was one of the suppliers. The investigation was led by Advocate Wim Trengove, who looked into claims made by two directors, Sifiso Dabengwa and Dr Pulane Molokwane. 


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