- Eskom’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mr Jan Oberholzer, has been cleared of charges of corruption, dishonesty, conflict of interest and abuse of power that were levelled against him by an employee of the company.
- This follows an investigation by an external Senior Counsel appointed by the Eskom to conduct an investigation into the allegations and to advise the board and the Group Chief Executive Officer on the way forward.
The Senior Counsel was entitled to interview any person, to review any documentation, including documentation provided by any Eskom employees and third parties that he deemed appropriate for the purposes of the investigation. The Senior Counsel commenced his investigation from 20 March 2020 and his report was submitted to the Board on 4 April 2020.
The Senior Counsel found no basis to the allegations of dishonesty, corruption, conflict of interest and abuse of power levelled against the COO.
With reference to the transfer of the alleged whistle-blower, the investigation could “find no wrongdoing in the process followed by Mr Oberholzer in this regard.” While the investigation found that the relationship between Mr Oberholzer and the employee who made allegations of victimisation had been characterised by tension, the Senior Counsel did “not find that there was victimisation or that any further legal processes should follow”.
“On all the other allegations against Mr Oberholzer that were put before the Senior Counsel, the Board is satisfied that these have been fully and adequately ventilated and investigated, and that there is no cause for any action against Mr Oberholzer. The Board is committed to the highest principles of ethics and good corporate governance, and will investigate any and all allegations made against any Eskom employee, regardless of their position or seniority” said the Eskom Board in a statement.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal