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A Probe into What Really Happened at South Africa’s Power Utility

The former head of South Africa’s national energy firm, Eskom, has refused to name the minister and politician who allegedly tolerated its corruption. Andre de Ruyter, who was answering lawmakers’ questions by video link due to death threats against him, cited security and legal risks. A couple of months after de Ruyter alleged someone tried to poison him by putting cyanide in his coffee at his office, he engaged in an interview with a local news channel. His appearance before parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts stems from what he revealed then about the level of corruption in Eskom. De Ruyter told the committee in an affidavit this week that in his estimation, the company loses about $54 million per month to corruption. He called that number a “conservative estimate” based on losses that came to his attention. Despite being offered parliamentary privilege Wednesday, de Ruyter wasn’t willing to name the politician he alleges is involved in the graft nor the government minister he claims tolerates it.