As questions are raised by opposition parties over former energy minister Ben Martins’ signature on the recently gazetted notice to move ahead with the nuclear procurement programme, Martins has apparently taken to Twitter to comment on the matter.
The Democratic Alliance has questioned why Martins signed off the gazetted decision and why the Cabinet decision was dated 11 November 2013.
“For two years government and subsequent Energy Minister Joemat-Pettersson have consistently peddled the line that Cabinet had not approved the nuclear procurement process which will cost South Africa unaffordable billions of rands,” DA MP Gordhan Mackay said in a statement.
“It is clear that the decision to spend up to R 1 trillion on nuclear builds was taken in 2013, and therefore engagements with foreign nuclear suppliers have been more serious than Tina Joemat-Pettersson would disclose.”
In early 2014 Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom publicized that South Africa had already concluded a deal with it, and published details of the deal which our Energy Department re-published.
The Department’s speedy backtrack and denial of the deal appeared plausible at the time, but is now seriously in question.
Cabinet approved the procurement process, and months later the Russians believed they had a deal – any denials of this sequence have also been exposed as a deception.
“At the first opportunity in Parliament I will call for a debate in the House on the fact that Cabinet approved the nuclear deal in 2013, and has misled South Africa for over two years,” added Mackay.
The nuclear deal has always been unaffordable and unnecessary, but has now also descended into the depths of grand deception.