S/African opposition condemns alleged poisoning of Eskom boss

South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on Sunday condemned the alleged attempt on the life of power utility Eskom's…

South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on Sunday condemned the alleged attempt on the life of power utility Eskom’s Chief executive, André De Ruyter, after he fell sick from cyanide poisoning last month at his offices in Johannesburg.DA shadow minister of public enterprises, Ghaleb Cachalia, said in a statement: “The DA condemns the attempted murder of Eskom’s CEO, André de Ruyter, at Megawatt Park while he was dutifully attending to his duties in the wake of his resignation.”


“Not only has De Ruyter been left out to dry amid African National Congress shenanigans but now criminal syndicates within Eskom are palpably hell-bent on cementing their stranglehold on Eskom that is destroying the economy,” Cachalia said.


According to press reports, de Ruyter acknowledged the poisoning incident at his workplace.


Due to this, the outgoing boss said he had opened a criminal case after doctors found high levels of cyanide in his blood following his drinking coffee at the company’s premises.

The poisoning took place shortly before his resignation was officially announced, the reports said.


De Ruyter said he became ill after drinking a cup of coffee at Eskom’s offices in Sunninghill. He collapsed after vomiting, shaking and being unable to walk.


The reports added that it was his bodyguards who took him to a clinic near the Megawatt office park, where a doctor diagnosed De Ruyter as suffering from cyanide poisoning.


A cyanide acid level of about 15 micrograms per litre of blood is considered normal, while the level in De Ruyter’s blood was 41.31 micrograms per litre, the reports said.


“It is clear that they will stop at nothing. All this — worthy of a mafia movie — now plays out while the (ruling) African National Congress does nothing to secure our electricity supply…,” Cachalia said.


“Firm and decisive action needs to be taken now. The trouble is that anyone who attempts to do so, is not only sidelined, but their lives are in danger,” the DA official said. 

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