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Calib Cassim appointed as interim Eskom CEO

Calib Cassim appointed as interim Eskom CEO
Calib Cassim Eskom interim CEO   -  
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South Africa

The state-owned utility Eskom, which currently imposes 12-hour power cuts on South Africans, has appointed an interim leader after its chief executive, Andre de Ruyter, quit in the wake of a shock interview in which he denounced corruption at the highest level of government.

Calib Cassim, Eskom's current chief financial officer since 2018 and who has worked for the public company for over twenty years, will ensure this interim, announced Eskom Friday morning in a statement.

André de Ruyter, who has led the scandal-ridden company for more than three years, was due to leave his post at the end of March. But he resigned in December, saying he did not have the political support needed to carry out his mission and fight corruption effectively. He later claimed to have been the victim of an attempt to poison him with cyanide on the same day.

In a compelling interview on private broadcaster ENCA on Tuesday night, he directly implicated the ANC, the party in power since the end of apartheid, saying there was "tangible evidence" that embezzlement was benefiting it.

The former CEO, an Afrikaner with blue eyes and white hair, made a series of serious accusations in language that was both precise and understandable to all. In particular, he claims that a 'senior' politician is involved in the serious corruption that undermines the company in various forms and that at least one government minister is aware of it.

The day after the interview was broadcast, Eskom announced that Mr de Ruyter "did not need to serve the remainder of his notice period" and was "released from his duties with immediate effect".

No government minister has publicly defended de Ruyter, who says in the TV interview that he informed several ministers and advisers to President Cyril Ramaphosa about the extent of corruption in the energy sector.

In the interview, he claims that 1 billion rand (the equivalent of 52 million euros) is embezzled from Eskom every month and that four sophisticated mafia cartels, located in the eastern province of Mpumalanga, the country's coal mining region, share the cake.

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