de Ruyter’s Eskom exposé

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Truth to Power: UKZN Prof Mike Berger on de Ruyter’s Eskom exposé.

Retired University of KZN professor Mike Berger took a close look at the bestselling book “Truth to Power” by André de Ruyter, the former CEO of Eskom. The book delves into de Ruyter’s experiences and struggles during his three year tenure at Eskom, detailing the challenges he faced in dealing with political interference, corruption, and sabotage. Berger acknowledges the impact of de Ruyter’s revelations on exposing malfeasance and initiating operational reforms at Eskom. It recommends the book as an essential read for understanding the political landscape of ANC-led South Africa.

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By Prof Mike Berger

Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels

One way and another we have all lived through the De Ruyter saga from the announcement of his unlikely appointment as CEO of Eskom to the clandestine publication of his blockbuster, ‘Truth to Power’, by Penguin Random House SA. It sold a record 16 444 copies in its first week on the bookshelves, and at least 50 000 within the first month or so of its appearance on the bookshelves mid-May. It’s a safe bet that a sizeable proportion of PW readers will have bought or read a copy.

His account rings true to South Africans witness to the moral and intellectual decline of the ANC over the past quarter-century. The narrative is enlivened by a smorgasbord of memorable aphorisms, anecdotes and personal insights into the corporate world. With a bit of intellectual spadework, the book tells us a great deal about De Ruyter himself and the socio-cultural-economic terrain on which we are trying to build a better South Africa.    

De Ruyter is a first-generation South African born of Dutch parents escaping post-WW2 Amsterdam to start a new life in South Africa. He was a product of a frugal upbringing and Dutch independence of thought, strictly raised in a Calvinist Protestant home with its emphasis on hard work, personal modesty, personal and social responsibility and education.

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