South African Union Calls for Eskom Board to Quit Over COO Probe

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South Africa’s second-biggest labor union federation called forEskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s board and senior management to resign as it rejected a finding that cleared the utility’s chief operating officer of any wrongdoing.

Eskom said on Friday that internal investigations and a court judgment on a payment dispute with contractor Aveng Ltd. exonerated COO Jan Oberholzer. A subsequent opinion by Nazir Cassim, an advocate, also cleared Oberholzer and brought a grievance procedure against him to a close, it said in astatement.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions, which includes an affiliate that is the second-largest union at Eskom, said in a 15-page statement on Saturday that Eskom’s findings didn’t represent what was found in the investigations. It also objected to the treatment of a whistleblower who reported alleged wrongdoing to a government-convened judicial commission.

“SAFTU calls for the urgent intervention of President Ramaphosa and the immediate resignation of the Eskom board,” it said.

The dispute with the union is another headache for Eskom Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter, who took office in January and is trying to turn around a utility that is 488 billion rand ($28 billion) in debt and is struggling to supply the country with sufficient power.

Eskom declined to comment.

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