News24

US offered to guard Pelindaba: Peters

2011-07-19 17:51

Cape Town - South Africa declined an offer from the US government to deploy soldiers at the Pelindaba Nuclear Research plant near Pretoria after a 2007 break-in because it seemed to be a purely criminal matter, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday.

"Such an offer was indeed received by the former department of foreign affairs. The offer was declined because the proposed intervention was unnecessary," she said in reply to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance.

"No South African troops were deployed at Pelindaba either."

Peters said four intruders cut the perimeter fence at Pelindaba on November 8. They broke into a garage and removed a ladder which they then used to climb into a first floor window.

The burglars attacked two staff and shot and injured one of them, before fleeing with their cellphones.

They were never caught but since they stole the phones and tried to steal a computer which contained no sensitive information, it seemed that their motive was theft not terrorism, the minister said.

"It is more likely that they were criminals as opposed to terrorists."

She said since the incident, security at the site had been "significantly upgraded".

Comments
  • ProfAndy - 2011-07-19 17:53

    And the fox, hoping the farmer is stupid, offers to guard the chicken coop...

      Stollie - 2011-07-19 18:08

      Don't be silly, we haven't got anything the US wants in terms of nuclear research or resources. The IAEA already do detailed check-ups and inventory at Necsa every month, so I can't see that the offer was anything but a hand of help.

      fishycraig - 2011-07-19 18:20

      The only thing you got right here is the farmer IS stupid in this case. We aren't talking about guarding a trash dump you know.

      Boer - 2011-07-20 02:38

      Shows you what the US thinks of the South-African so called New Soldier.

  • Riso Raknar - 2011-07-19 18:12

    Prof Andy, ?. What idiots, the motivation of those who entered has nothing to do with it, the US is concerned that uneducated common criminals can get close to enriched uranium with apparent ease. What message does that send to would be terrorists? its easy? Can assure you, it used to be very secure…

      Azizi - 2011-07-19 20:00

      So what has it to do with the US anyway??? God's saviour to mankind.

      Creeky - 2011-07-19 22:37

      Al-Queda Terrorists already walk the streets of the world's CITIES, sporting South African Passports... for them to lay their dirty little hands on some Uranium, won't hurt their cause either!

      W H Kotze - 2011-07-20 04:03

      Georgie, ever pondered why those self same “criminals” disassembled the nuclear devices developed at Pelindaba prior to handing the farm to the current bunch? This piece of news should serve as a clue. The Yanks know something you refuse to acknowledge…

  • Risen Ape - 2011-07-19 18:16

    If criminals want to steal radio active waste, let them. In fact, next time Eskom has to change spent Uranium fuel rods, just leave the reactor doors open. By morning it will be gone.

      Worldwise - 2011-07-19 19:29

      Brilliant idea Ape. And just how will you know when they decide to dump it in the source that supplies your drinking water? When you start to glow in the dark?

      Risen Ape - 2011-07-19 21:09

      "And just how will you know ..." I'll know that when I can jump-start a car using my nipples.

      Creeky - 2011-07-19 22:35

      Just think Worldwise... then the Electricty Cuts will NOT be a problem anymore... GLOW IN THE DARK EYES.... AWESOME!

  • fishycraig - 2011-07-19 18:19

    If some dumb criminals can get that far into the complex how far can trained people with evil intentions get? Hey al Queda, need some dirty bomb material??

  • Deon - 2011-07-19 18:31

    Excellent security!!!! That's the way to guard and secure a nuclear plant. Brilliant brilliant government.

  • horsehair - 2011-07-19 18:59

    Unfortunately far too typical of this here nation run by idiots.

  • APV - 2011-07-19 19:26

    Incident probably organised by the americans to try and "expose" a lack of security at the pelindaba plant to retain possession of highly enriched uranium stored at the site. What criminal in their right mind would go to all that effort to steal two cellphones and a computer, much easier to break into suburban homes.

      fishycraig - 2011-07-19 19:34

      Even if the Americans orchestrated it it still shows a lack of security. In fact I would be impressed if the Americans did do just to show how slack things are. Just remember, the chances are highest that if a dirty bomb is made and used it will be against America so they are only looking after their interests - and rightly so.

  • Shadoz - 2011-07-19 19:32

    How the hell did criminals get into what is meant to be a "secure" facility in the first place. great knowing we have such good security. We must be the laughing stock of the world.

      JohannV - 2011-07-19 20:10

      We already ARE!

  • magszinovich - 2011-07-19 20:36

    S.A. criminals are too retarded to be terrorists

  • Joe - 2011-07-19 23:51

    lies, lies, lies...

  • Nic - 2011-07-20 02:48

    South Africa is not the rest of the world where US is deploying its soldiers. It looks like they don't have enough space to keep their soldiers at home, so they want to put them somewhere safe. We have our own troops, so if Peli needs protection, let's use them......

      W H Kotze - 2011-07-20 04:10

      "...let's use them"? You missed the point, the story is not about condoms and fornication.

  • KrayZee - 2011-07-20 08:05

    Once again, an example of the incompetence of the current administration... Guys, you cannot trivialise the fact that a nuclear plant's security was breached - and that by 4 unsophisticated street thugs, no less, who got away with it on top of everything else! Good Grief! Imagine if they had been a group of trained terrorists; somewhere in the world someone would now have been in s@#t street under threat of a nuclear attack. And who would be responsible?? No prizes for guessing that answer! Just another blunder to add to those of Eskom, SAA, the SABC, Health Care, Education... man, everything to do with government. And they want to nationalise mines and banks??? What a f$@#ing joke!

  • Brendan - 2011-07-20 08:26

    That is what you think - I was in SA Intelligence Corps and we had to guard Nuclear weapons that these lying bastard politicians said never existed. We even had to sign a confidentiality form to this effect - so don't think that the IAEA knows everything.

  • Pieter - 2011-07-20 08:38

    Watch this link and decide for yourself if the minister is lying or just stupid. Can you go through life in a dream world. Imagine the idiot Malema getting his hands on the HEU. http://cnettv.cnet.com/assault-pelindaba/9742-1_53-50089251.html

  • annie.kalahari - 2011-07-20 13:08

    South africa's energy minister is telling porkies: there were TWO well-organised attacks on Pelindaba's nuclear-weapons facility that day - and people WERE arrested and questioned.The attackers got right into the CONTROL ROOM monitoring the nuclear-weapons facility. It took police a full TEN MONTHS before they bothered to interview the two injured Afrikaners in the central control room, its manager Anton Gerber and its operator Ria Meiring: who arenow suing South Africa's control body, the Nuclear Energy Corporation, for its truly grotesquely lax security. The minister's announcement that neither US nor SA soldiers were appointed to guard this nuclear-weapons site, is a gross violation of its security: she's now announcing to the world that the site is as badly protected as ever. Security experts continue to believe the attackers were after the weapons-grade uranium itself and that they had a very intricate knowledge of the entire facility and were professionally-organised. South Africa's arrogance in refusing US military protection is only matched by its arrogance in believing that this was just a little criminal break-in - based on the fact that Gerber's cellphone was the only thing which was 'stolen'. Attackers generally grab victims' cellphones not because of their financial value, but to stop the control-room operator from calling for outside help:

  • Louwretta - 2011-07-21 12:44

    Is dit die eerste keer dat die gebeure onder ons aandag gebring word? ek meen 2007 het dit al gebeur. Hoekom verskyn dit nou eers? Het iemand daarvan gehoor in 2007. Ja nee daar is baie beter plekke om by in te breek as by Pellindaba. Ken hul dan nie die geskiedenis rondom Pellindaba, laat my dink aan die hondjie wat die motor jaag. Everythhing in this country is ---less, usless, powerless and mindless

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