August 21, 2017

South African government misses court deadline on nuclear plan

As some had widely predicted, in a court case involving leading environmentalists and activists, the government of South Africa has failed to meet the May 13 deadline to submit answering affidavits.

On behalf of the critics, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the South African Faith Communities Environment Institution (SAFCEI) argue that , acted unconstitutionally in not submitting the government’s nuclear deal with Russia to Parliament.

Last year the organisations filed court papers challenging the constitutionality of the intergovernmental framework agreements the Department of Energy signed with Russia, China, South Korea and the USA on the country’s planned nuclear development.

The government was supposed to respond to the civil society’s application to the high court, but it it failed to deliver answering affidavits by this date, according to SAFCEI spokesperson, Liziwe McDaid.

“We have therefore instructed our lawyers to apply to the court to force the government to respond. We believe that the government is once again dragging its heels in responding,” she commented.

SAFCEI and Earthlife Africa were expecting Joemat-Pettersson to provide the records of the decisions that are being challenged.

Meanwhile, the two organisations have instructed their lawyers to issue a Rule 30A notice to prohibit further delays. The notice was served on the state attorney on 13 May 2016.

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