ESKOM, the South African government-owned power utility, is to investigate allegations of racism leveled against its group CE, André de Ruyter, said BusinessLive.
De Ruyter, the former CEO of packaging group Nampak, was brought in to spearhead a turnaround the embattled power utility in January 2020, but has recently been accused of helping purge black suppliers, in favour of white suppliers, said the publication.
The allegation not only brings Eskom into disrepute but also threatens to detract and distract the focus of the executive team and the group CEO from the critical job of restoring Eskom to operational and financial sustainability, said BusinessLive citing an Eskom statement issued on Tuesday.
Eskom said it will appoint an independent senior counsel to conduct the investigation.
“The counsel will be empowered to interview any person that may be of assistance in the probe, and consider any evidence, and will then report back to the board and make recommendations,” the statement reads.
Eskom’s suspended chief procurement officer Solly Tshitangano has levelled a series of allegations against De Ruyter and other managers, with Eskom noting earlier in March that a meeting of parliament’s standing committee on public accounts had deviated from its agenda, and instead dealt with claims from Tshitangano.