Court sets aside nuclear deals with Russia, other countries

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Cape Town – It’s back to the drawing board for government, which has received a bloody nose in the Western Cape High Court where its nuclear procurement processes to date have been declared unlawful and set aside.

Judge Lee Bozalek on Wednesday ruled in favour of the case brought by Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) against government.

In his ruling, he declared government’s attempts to secure 9.6 GW of nuclear energy were unlawful, including the initial determination to procure nuclear energy in 2013, the cooperation agreements signed with Russia, the US and South Korea, as well as former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson’s decision to hand over the procurement of nuclear energy to Eskom late last year.

The court case was first launched in October 2015, with Earthlife Africa and Safcei challenging the government’s decision to buy 9.6 GW of nuclear power without debating it first in Parliament, thus flouting democratic processes.

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