Two days before Phakamani Hadebe (50) took over as interim CEO of Eskom, a disgraced former chief executive of the Land Bank and four others were convicted of fraud and corruption — charges that Hadebe laid against them nearly 10 years ago, after coming to the rescue of the lender in July 2008. Now he has been called to rescue an institution about 500 times bigger, on which the fortunes of the entire economy lie. Much as is the case with Eskom now, Hadebe was parachuted in by treasury to save the Land Bank from huge corruption that pushed it into bankruptcy and cost the taxpayer R3.5bn to put it back on the road to sustainability. Within the first month of his arrival at the Land Bank, Hadebe fired almost all the top officials in the executive committee. He has done the same in his first week in charge at Eskom. On January 18, the specialised commercial crimes court in Pretoria convicted Philemon Mohlahlane, the former Land Bank CEO, who had presided over extensive looting, together...

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