Court says former energy minister Jeff Radebe's ouster of Necsa board 'unlawful'

The North Gauteng High Court on Friday ruled that the decision by former minister of energy Jeff Radebe to remove the board of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) was unlawful.

Radebe axed the board in December 2018, citing serious governance an lack of effective oversight over the company and its subsidiaries.

The judge set aside the decision to remove the board, in a case brought by Kelvin Kemm, Phumzile Tshelane and Pam Bosman.

Radebe is no longer in government. The office of his successor in the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, said it will study the judgement and pronounce itself on the matter in due course.

"Stabilising the board and executive leadership at all entities reporting to the Minister remains a priority," said a statement.

Last year, Radebe levelled a number of failures against the board, 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.

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

Necsa conducts research and development in the field of nuclear energy, radiation sciences and technology.