Radebe replaces nuclear corp board over 'defiance' and 'ineptitude'

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said on Friday that the complete replacement of the board of the Southern African Nuclear Energy Corporation, or Necsa, was warranted given its failures to exercise its fiduciary duties.

The minister was speaking at a briefing in Pretoria. 

Necsa conducts research and development in the field of nuclear energy, radiation sciences and technology. It is also responsible for uranium enrichment. Cabinet approved the new board this week.

The new members are Dr Robert Adam, who will replace chair Kelvin Kemm, Dr Ramatsemela Masango, Aadil Patel, Bishen Singh, Pulane Kingston, Mathlodi Ngwenya, Jabulani Ndlovu and Pulane Molokwane.

CEO Phumzile Tshelane, meanwhile, has been placed on precautionary suspension. Radebe said there will be an investigation into allegations of irregularities by him. Depending on the outcomes of the investigation, disciplinary proceedings may or may follow. 

In the interim, Don Robertson has been appointed CEO. Robertson is a former managing director of a subsidiary of Necsa, the NTP. "He will assist the board to restore good governance and bring financial sustainability to the organisation,"said Radebe.

'Serious governance issues' 

Radebe said serious governance issues dogged the previous board.

He mentioned a laundry list of issues, including legislative non-compliance, non-adherence to specific instructions from the department of energy, financial mismanagement, remuneration irregularities, unauthorised international travel and a memorandum of understanding signed with a foreign entity- Russian firm Rosatom - despite the minister's instructions not to.

"On a number of occasions, the Necsa board failed to execute its statutory mandate in a satisfactory and prudent manner.

"In many instances it appeared deliberate acts that ran contrary to the fiduciary duty of the board over the affairs of Necsa," he said.

Deputy Minister Thembisile Majola said that as a subsidiary the NTP plays a critical role internationally in the production of medical isotopes. The decision to overhaul the board was not just a Necsa matter, but a national and international matter.

Majola confirmed that Kemm, Tshelane and Pamela Bosman had approached lawyers to challenge their removal. 

"[There are] certain individuals who have decided to go and challenge this issue. It will be dealt with but we are moving on because we have a lot of work to do, to undo the damage."

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

ZAR/USD
16.90
(-0.84)
ZAR/GBP
21.45
(-0.38)
ZAR/EUR
19.76
(-0.62)
ZAR/AUD
12.04
(-0.07)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.83)
Gold
1875.25
(-1.52)
Silver
23.36
(-4.30)
Platinum
856.00
(-1.89)
Brent Crude
42.24
(+0.55)
Palladium
2182.50
(-1.35)
All Share
53561.67
(+0.56)
Top 40
49488.76
(+0.74)
Financial 15
9549.75
(-0.22)
Industrial 25
73273.29
(+1.93)
Resource 10
52757.25
(-0.34)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 1343 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
73% - 8759 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
16% - 1931 votes
Vote