Did Zuma force Minister to sign Russian Nuclear Deal?

Faint and bitter memories are surfacing these days, memories of an arms deal years back , whose ripple effects are still felt today. Did the government – in this case the President himself – again violate current procurement legislation to force a ONE TRILLION RAND on a battling economy that can hardly afford to pay the salaries of its public servants?

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson will have to inform Parliament’s portfolio committee on energy on the nuclear deal with Russia. “The members of the committee pointed out that the agreement was announced suddenly, without any discussion with the committee. We do not know what the facts are,” portfolio committee chairman Fikile Majola was quoted as saying, it was reported yesterday. “The matter is in the public domain and we as review committee must be informed. It is our role.”

While the next committee meeting is on October 13, already on Friday, the energy department declined to comment on a Mail&Guardian report that President Jacob Zuma took control of a ZAR 1 trillion nuclear deal, negotiated directly with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and instructed Joemat-Pettersson to sign it. Unnamed sources told the M&G Zuma instructed Joemat-Pettersson to sign the deal on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency conference in Vienna.

This week, it was announced that Russia had clinched a deal to build nuclear reactors in South Africa. Some details of the co-operation agreement — to supply as many as eight nuclear plants generating up to 9.6GW of power — were announced in joint statements by the energy department and Russia’s atomic energy corporation, Rosatom.

When we last checked the national budget, we could not find any trace of this budget position, so who is footing the bill? Somebody really needs to step down…

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