Energy expert: A nuclear deal would be illegal

The 'Sunday Times' reported that a top team from Russia visited President Jacob Zuma just before the surprise Cabinet reshuffle last week.

FILE: Protesters gathered outside of the Western Cape High Court where it was ruled that government's decision to call for proposals for the procurement of 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy is unlawful and unconstitutional. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Questions have been raised about why President Jacob Zuma is carrying on with the nuclear programme given a court judgement earlier this year that halted the nuclear build programme.

The _Sunday Times _reported that a top team from Russia visited Zuma just before the surprise Cabinet reshuffle last week.

David Mahlobo was elected Energy Minister with concerns that this is to speed up the deal.

Mahlobo visited Russia several weeks ago.

Managing director at EE Publishers Chris Yelland says that while details surrounding a reported meeting between Zuma and a top team from Russia sent by President Vladimir Putin remain sketchy, a nuclear deal right now would be simply illegal.

“In the absence of Treasury signing off on the deal and looking at whether it is affordable, it would be illegal.”

Questions are being asked about what the extent of the role that the Russian president plays in pushing for the country to get nuclear power.

Professor of Physics at the University of Johannesburg Hartmut Winkler has described the deal as risky.

“The Russians are taking a big risk as well. I don’t understand everything, but most people think it’s about them assuring a global presence over various countries.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)