De RuyterBL Premium reports that parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has put its investigation into allegations of racism against Eskom CEO André de Ruyter on hold, to allow the power utility to conduct its own probe.

De Ruyter, who was appointed to revive the struggling power utility, is facing racism accusations that threaten to derail the drive to put company on a sustainable path. He indicated in a recent affidavit to the committee that the accusations brought by suspended chief procurement officer Solly Tshitangano, have seriously undermined “my ability to properly and efficiently to conduct my duties ... It seriously undermines morale at Eskom”. De Ruyter also said Tshitangano’s allegations were entirely without merit and “appear to be an attempt to subvert Eskom’s internal disciplinary process”. In March, Eskom announced that it would launch its own investigation into claims of racism against De Ruyter made in writing to parliament by Tshitangano. Tension between the two first emerged in 2020, with Tshitangano facing disciplinary proceedings over alleged underperformance. On receiving a letter from Tshitangano, Scopa resolved to investigate the claims against De Ruyter, which included racism as well as discrimination against small businesses. Scopa chair Mkhuleko Hlengwa said on Wednesday that after receiving a letter from public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan requesting the suspension of the Scopa probe pending the finalisation of the internal Eskom inquiry, the committee agreed to hold its investigation in abeyance.

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