Union wants De Ruyter locked up over R500 million security tender

 ·23 Jun 2023

The National Union of Mine Workers (NUM) is calling for former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter to be arrested for “money laundering tactics”.

This follows allegations that a R500 million emergency tender was irregularly awarded to security company Fidelity Services Group last year.

In July 2022, head of Eskom security Karen Pillay – together with De Ruyter and acting COO Jan Oberholzer – afforded a R500 million security tender to Fidelity following a damning private investigation report on corruption at Eskom.

The investigation, initiated by De Ruyter, revealed shocking allegations of widespread looting and sabotage at Eskom. These actions have had a direct impact on the prolonged power outages experienced by the public.

According to City Press, Pillay had allegedly relied on the contents of the intelligence report to award the tender to Fidelity to supply Eskom with 400 armed guards and a variety of hi-tech surveillance equipment that would be deployed at power stations across the country at short notice to avert alleged imminent threats to the utility’s infrastructure.

However, NUM alleged there was “unfaithfulness” displayed in the whole process and is now calling for law enforcement to thoroughly investigate the matter and prosecute those found to be at fault.

The union alleged that the lawful processes were not followed in the tender and “this matter is of serious security concern” as the tendering process ran only for three months.

“To our astonishment, the so-called proponents of anti-corruption are quiet and masquerading as though they are not aware of the R500 million that was afforded to a security company called Fidelity,” said NUM Highveld.

“We are calling for the law enforcement agencies to wake up and smell the coffee. De Ruyter must be arrested,” it said, adding that “such investigations must be extended to Oberholzer as we believe that there was no need for Eskom to pay such an amount of money”.

NUM added that it is mobilizing its structures to embark on a protest for the money to be paid back.

The R500 million tender process is currently being investigated, and Eskom spokesperson, Daphne Mokwena, said Pillay is currently on precautionary suspension to allow the space for investigations to continue unhindered.

Read: New load shedding stages for South Africa coming soon – what to expect

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