It was a feeding frenzy when Eskom's André de Ruyter was accused of racism by Solly Tshitangano, the company's chief procurement officer. But in the cold light of day these allegations were nothing more than a ruse to draw attention away from serious irregularities, and even criminality at Eskom, writes Pieter du Toit.
It was a feeding frenzy when Eskom's group chief executive André de Ruyter – white and Afrikaans – was accused of racism in his dealings with senior staff and so-called "black-owned companies" supplying the power utility some months ago.
And because the accusations against De Ruyter were levelled by Solly Tshitangano, Eskom's chief procurement officer and former acting chief procurement officer at National Treasury, it gained immediate currency. Objectivity went out of the window, with members of parliament's standing committee on public accounts furiously demanding an investigation, newspaper editorials and senior journalists slating De Ruyter and select thought leaders launching social media crusades because a white man was targeting a black man at a state-owned company.