Gov accepts report clearing allegations levelled against Eskom CEO
Eskom CEO, André de Ruyter

The South African Deputy President, David Mabuza, says the government has no reason to doubt the findings of the Trengove report in a forensic investigation that cleared Eskom CEO André de Ruyter of allegations of misleading the board. 

Mabuza said this when responding to questions in the National Assembly. The question was raised by the Economic Freedom Fighters, asking whether, in his capacity as the chairperson of the Eskom Task Team, he has been informed of the allegations against the CEO. 

The Deputy President says the Eskom board has the full backing of government for its decision in July to adopt the findings of the forensic investigation, which cleared the Eskom CEO, André de Ruyter. 

This is in relation to allegations made by a board member that De Ruyter misled the board in a March 2020 meeting, which led to the cancellation of an R5.2 billion fuel oil contract with the black-owned company, Econ Oil & Energy Ltd. 

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Mabuza said: “For the record, Advocate Trengove’s report has been made available for our perusal, and we have no basis to doubt its fairness or the integrity of the investigation process as conducted against the CEO, with respect to the allegations made. 

“As government, we remain committed to clean governance and we have confidence in the capabilities of the current board at Eskom. We believe we have appointed a board that is competent, experienced and capable of implementing clear mechanisms to hold executives accountable,” said Mabuza.

According to the Deputy President, in the wake of the allegations, the Eskom board instituted an independent investigation, and appointed Advocate Wim Trengove SC to investigate the matter. 

“Subsequently, the Eskom board at its July 2020 meeting, adopted the report of this Senior Counsel and expressed its support for the CEO. 

“In line with corporate governance principles, which set out the separation of roles between the shareholder and the board, there is no basis to doubt the decisions within the purview of the board in respect of this and any other operational issues of the power utility. 

“We would like to treat this matter as adequately addressed and concluded,” said the Deputy President.

Mabuza added that government believes the Board should be allowed space to independently carry out its fiduciary responsibilities and exercise duty of care on all strategic and operational matters of Eskom without any undue influence.

“As a matter of course, government exercises its oversight role through the Department of Public Enterprises, guided by the shareholder compact. 

“That is why our position is that the board is empowered to run the affairs of Eskom diligently, while ensuring a financially sustainable energy utility that is oriented to meet its developmental imperative,” he said.

Edited by ESI Africa. Source: SAnews.gov.za