Andre de Ruyter: South Africa’s Eskom says police investigating alleged CEO poisoning

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South African electricity company Eskom said on Sunday that police were investigating an attempted poisoning of its outgoing chief executive, Andre de Ruyter.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan also told Reuters on Sunday that the alleged incident would “be fully investigated” and anyone responsible would be charged.

Without giving details, Gordhan said an intense battle was going on “between those who want South Africa to work and prosper and those who want to get rich through corruption.”

Facing political pressure, De Ruyter resigned on December 14 after failing to resolve a crisis at Eskom that led to record power cuts in Africa’s most industrialized economy.

After officially taking office in January 2020, De Ruyter led a company-wide crackdown on corruption and organized criminal behavior, including infrastructure sabotage, at Eskom factories. His last day in office will be March 31.

“Eskom cannot comment further on the poisoning incident involving the group’s chief executive, which occurred in December 2022, as the matter is under police investigation,” the chief executive said. public service safety in a press release.

Reuters could not immediately reach De Ruyter for comment.

The alleged cyanide poisoning was first reported on Saturday by energy trade publication EE Business Intelligence.

On Sunday, the opposition Democratic Alliance party called for decisive action against criminal syndicates which it said were “determined to consolidate their hold on Eskom which is destroying the economy”.

South African police services did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment. Eskom’s board chairman, Mpho Makwana, was also unavailable.


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