Eskom has placed its acting head of security Karen Pillay on precautionary suspension.
News24 was the first to report on the development, alleging that Pillay was suspended over a R500-million security contract awarded to Fidelity Services to investigate coal theft in 2022.
Citing senior Eskom sources, News24 said pressure to suspend Pillay had come from the Eskom board.
However, the utility has told MyBroadband that News24 had misquoted it on the reasoning behind the suspension.
“Eskom has been once again being misquoted by City Press, i.e. on the reasons why advocate Pillay is being placed on a precautionary suspension,” it said.
“However, Eskom confirms that advocate Karen Pillay is placed on a precautionary suspension to allow space for the investigation on allegations levelled against her to continue unhindered.”
It did not specify which allegations were being probed.
“No further comments will be provided on this matter until the investigation is finalised,” it added.
Eskom has denied that there was anything untoward regarding its security contract with Fidelity Services.
Despite the contract’s budget being R500 million, the utility said it spent only half that amount over its duration.
“A total of approximately R250 million, including VAT, was spent for the duration of the contract,” it said.
Early reactions from Outa and former CEO
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) described the suspension of as “excellent news”.
“Hopefully this leads to a full investigation that exposes the extent of the sabotage and rot in @Eskom_SA. And criminal charges against whoever is implicated,” it said in a Twitter post.
Former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko also took to Twitter to comment on the development.
“What goes around comes around. Hunters are being hunted. Andre De Ruyter’s forces are on the receiving end. It’s nothing new,” he said.
Koko said that Eskom board Mpho Makwana’s “people” would also be “on the receiving end” when he left office.