Eskom CEO André de Ruyter survived an apparent attempt to murder him in his office at the company’s Megawatt Park head office in Johannesburg in December.

This is according to a report by Chris Yelland, an energy analyst, publisher and journalist, who said, citing sources, that De Ruyter drank a cup of coffee laced with cyanide.

The attempted murder, which is now the subject of a police investigation, comes as De Ruyter battles criminal syndicates that are looting Eskom and threatening South Africa’s energy supply and security.

Tests taken subsequently confirmed massively elevated levels of cyanide in his body

According to Yelland’s report, the attempt on De Ruyter’s life took place on 13 December, one day after he submitted his resignation to Eskom chairman Mpho Makwana, but before news about his resignation became public knowledge.

“A trusted source external to Eskom indicated to EE Business Intelligence that after drinking a cup of coffee in his office at Eskom Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, De Ruyter became weak, dizzy and confused, shaking uncontrollably and vomiting copiously. He subsequently collapsed, unable to walk,” the report said.

“He was rushed to his doctor’s rooms by his security detail, where his condition was diagnosed as cyanide poisoning, and treated accordingly. Tests taken subsequently confirmed massively elevated levels of cyanide in his body. This has been further confirmed by a second high-level source, as well as De Ruyter’s own words confirming his reporting of the matter to the police.”

The report said De Ruyter had confirmed the incident and that it was reported to the police on 5 January.

The news is likely to complicate Eskom’s search for a new CEO.

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