Vavi lays charges against De Ruyter after allegations of top politicians with knowledge of corruption

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Saftu’s Zwelinzima Vavi opens case against former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Antonio Muchave
Saftu’s Zwelinzima Vavi opens case against former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Antonio Muchave
  • Federation leader Zwelinzima Vavi opened a case against André de Ruyter to get answers about the allegations he made. 
  • According to the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act, De Ruyter must report his knowledge to the police.
  • Vavi called for De Ruyter to reveal the names of the ministers who "condoned" this corrupt behaviour. 

South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) leader Zwelinzima Vavi has laid charges against former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter.

In a letter dated 23 February, Vavi asked De Ruyter to present evidence that he reported to police his interaction with a minister he told about a senior politician involved in looting funds and allegations about R1 billion that was "extorted" monthly at Eskom.

Vavi told De Ruyter to respond by 3 March. 

The former Eskom CEO failed to respond to the union's letter, which News24 has seen, prompting the charges.

In the letter, Vavi wrote: "The purpose of this letter is not to pit ourselves against you. Instead, we wish to take action against those responsible regarding the criminal activity you have described."

He also called for De Ruyter to explain why he, or any other official from Eskom, did not report the "criminal activities of syndicates" in Mpumalanga to the police.

"Thousands of our members have been plunged into unemployment and deeper poverty after retrenchments caused by load shedding. Theft from Eskom also affects employees' wages, their health and training budgets, and job security. I am sure that you would agree that Saftu has a direct and substantial interest in dealing with the terrible corruption you describe and bringing those responsible to account," reads the letter. 

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On Monday, Vavi opened a case at Hillbrow police station, requesting the investigation of De Ruyter to address two issues as per the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act (Precca).  

According to the act, people with knowledge of corrupt behaviour by a person of authority are legally obligated to report it, and failure to do so is considered an offence. 

"De Ruyter, in his capacity as the former group CEO of Eskom, is a person of authority and therefore ought to have made these reports in terms of Precca," said Vavi in his affidavit.

During an explosive interview with eNCA's journalist Annika Larsen last month, De Ruyter disclosed that he told a Cabinet member about high-end politicians and sabotage at Eskom, led by four crime cartels. 

Vavi requested that De Ruyter reveal the identities of the politicians, and the ministers he had reported these criminal activities to."These statements by De Ruyter is evidence that he knew or, at the very least, had reasonable suspicion of various acts of corruption and criminal activity within Eskom and within the ranks of politicians, more specifically, a minister or two who advised [that] corrupt activities [were permitted] by suggesting that he should allow some people to 'eat a little'," said Vavi.

In an interview last week with Newzroom Afrika, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan confirmed that De Ruyter told him about corruption at the state-owned utility but said the former Eskom CEO had not presented any evidence. 

Gordhan added that there was no falling out between the two of them and said he had visited De Ruyter in the Western Cape after his "poisoning" as an expression of solidarity.

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