by Kyle Cowan
After unknown saboteurs toppled a strategic pylon near Lethabo Power Station in the Free State in November 2021, almost causing the country to plunge into stage 6 load shedding, Eskom’s chief executive officer André de Ruyter declared: ‘This was clearly now an act of sabotage and I think we can call it as such.’ Who was behind this, and what is their ultimate goal?
Since his appointment in January 2020, De Ruyter has faced intense opposition from within the power utility as he attempts to clean up corruption and return the electricity company to a semblance of its former glory. He is not alone. Chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer and other trusted allies in Eskom have also come under intense fire. From forensic investigations and botched probes to accusations of racism, De Ruyter and Oberholzer have spent significant amounts of time fending off allegation after allegation. Amid this onslaught, it has become clear that their enemies will take any measures necessary to have them removed from office.
Based on exclusive interviews with De Ruyter, Oberholzer and other key figures, Sabotage is a story of conspiracy and subterfuge at South Africa’s ailing power utility, uncovering the power struggles that threaten the country’s very survival.