The Eskom board has announced that it has asked an independent party to investigate corruption allegations made against COO Jan Oberholzer.
“The Eskom board acknowledges receipt of correspondences from Corruption Watch, an anti-corruption civil society organisation, dated 11 March 2020, and from the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), dated 12 and 18 March 2020,” it said.
“In the correspondences, both organisations articulate allegations of corruption and victimisation against the chief operating officer.”
Both of these anti-corruption organisations cite the same source – an Eskom employee who raised the allegations in an affidavit to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
These allegations also follow the publication of multiple media articles which also refer to Oberholzer being involved in corrupt activities.
The South African Federation of Trade Union (Saftu) called for Oberholzer to be fired following a Sunday Independent report which stated that he is a shareholder in Stefanutti Stocks.
Stefanutti Stocks is one of the companies that defrauded the power utility of nearly R140-million, the report said.
Stand against corruption
“From the onset, it must be stated categorically that Eskom’s executive management and the board stand firmly against corruption, victimization, and abuse of power,” the board said.
“Whistleblowers are a key instrument in the fight against all these excesses, and Eskom endeavours to accord them due protections and encouragement at all material times.”
Eskom has previously dealt with matters concerning the employee who raised these allegations, and after an independent investigation, it found no substance to their previous allegations.
Despite this, and in light of the allegations from the two anti-corruption organisations, Eskom has hired an independent senior counsel to investigate the allegations against the COO and to provide recommendations to the board.
“It is hoped that the conclusion of such an investigation, together with any subsequent actions that may be required, will bring about a fair and lasting resolution to the matter for all parties concerned,” Eskom said.
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) March 19, 2020