- The Standing Committee of Public Accounts (Scopa) has halted its probe into claims against Eskom CEO André De Ruyter, so that another investigation by Eskom into the same issue can be completed.
- However, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) believes that the Eskom board's probe will be a "sham process".
- The trade union believes De Ruyter will be exonerated in the same way the chief operations officer Jan Oberholzer was in investigations against him.
The Eskom board's probe into claims against CEO André De Ruyter will be a "sham process", said the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).
On Saturday, the trade union issued a statement in response to a decision by the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (Scopa) to halt its investigation into De Ruyter.
The matter concerns allegations raised by suspended Chief Procurement Officer Solly Tshitangano in a letter to the parliamentary committee, where he indicated there were procurement irregularities, and even racism on the part of De Ruyter.
In March, Scopa undertook to investigate the serious claims. Earlier this week, Scopa met to discuss the way forward for its inquiry after receiving a letter from Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan requesting it to suspend its probe, as the Eskom board had launched its own investigation into the matter.
Scopa chair Mkhuleko Hlengwa said Parliament's probe would be held in abeyance to allow Eskom to complete its work. However, Scopa wants Eskom to complete the investigation within 90 days and report on the outcomes to decide if a parliamentary inquiry is warranted.
Numsa, however, expressed concerns over the Eskom probe. "We have no faith in the investigation which has been launched by the Eskom board into De Ruyter," the statement read.
The trade union further accused the Eskom board of not acting independently. "The board appointed De Ruyter, and therefore any investigation which is initiated by it, will be tainted from the start."
The trade union noted that previous internal investigations had exonerated Eskom's Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer - of allegations against him.
News24 earlier reported that the Special Investigating Unit is now investigating similar issues against Oberholzer. Three previous investigations found that there was no wrongdoing on his behalf.
Numsa is worried the same will happen with the current probe into De Ruyter. "We are concerned that this process has been set up as sham process, just like the internal investigation into Oberholzer was a white-wash designed to exonerate him," Numsa said.