Nuclear court case – more missing documents requested

  • Published:

18 August 2016

Media release

Nuclear court case – more missing documents requested

Legal counsel for the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) and Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (ELA) have requested further documentation from government in order to complete their replying affidavit.

“Getting information out of government has been like pulling teeth” said SAFCEI spokesperson, Liz McDaid, “the case has been drawn out since October 2015, with government reluctant to provide the information necessary for a fair hearing”.

The SAFCEI and ELA legal team has been reviewing a 700 page response from government, and detailed analysis reveals the government has failed to disclose at least 10 documents to which it refers when justifying its decisions to enter into a nuclear deal with Russia.

The documents include:

  1. The proposal to Cabinet that the Minister signed off for the roll-out of the new nuclear power plants;
  2. The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review by the IAEA;
  3. The Terms of Reference for the NNEECC;
  4. The Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy;
  5. The Phased Decision Making Approach for implementing the nuclear programme ;
  6. The designation of Eskom as the Owner and Operator of Nuclear Power Plants in South Africa;
  7. The 2004 Bilateral International Agreement with the Russian Federation;
  8. The May 2013 Agreement between Russia and South Africa signed during the BRICS summit meeting in Durban;
  9. The Invitation to attend vendor parade workshops sent to the Republic of Korea, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the French Republic, the People’s Republic of China, Canada and the Kingdom of Japan, and;
  10. The list of topics each vendor country was requested to address relating to the invitation referred to in paragraph 9 above.

Our legal team has asked for these documents under rule 35.12 of the court rules, as they are clearly relevant to the case.  A letter was sent on the 4th August 2016, and we are still awaiting a response.

The government continues to promise a fair and accountable process of nuclear procurement, but its deeds do not live up to the promises.  “We need answers.  Parliament should hold government accountable in a transparent manner” stated Dominque Doyle of Earthlife Africa JHB.



SAFCEI and Earthlife Africa Joburg

18TH August 2016

For further information, please contact

Ms Liz McDaid (SAFCEI)                                                Ms Dominique Doyle (ELA-Jhb)

Email:                                         email:

Cell: 082 731 5643                                                            cell: 079 331 2028

Note for journalists:

Originally, the government announced that the Russian agreement was a done deal, but later backtracked after a public outcry, and now, according to President Zuma, South Africa will build nuclear reactors “on a scale and pace that our country can afford”[1].  ELA/SAFCEI maintain, as per our founding papers, that the Russian agreement was entered into unlawfully, making an internationally binding commitment to buy a fleet of nuclear reactors from Russia.

On 21 December 2015, the DoE gazetted the 2013 section 34 determination, supposedly allowing the Department to go ahead and start a procurement process to buy nuclear reactors.

Supporting documentation provided to SAFCEI and ELA's legal team on the 16th February 2016 revealed this deliberate attempt by DoE to keep the public in the dark about its nuclear procurement process.

Our founding affidavit can be downloaded at: and .


Earthlife Africa Joburg

Lawyers representing ELA-JHB and SAFCEI are Adrian Pole and Associates.


SAFCEI is a multi-faith organization which supports faith communities in caring for the earth. It has a broad spectrum of multi-faith membership, including Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Quaker, and a wide range of Christian denominations.  Through collaboration, networking, research and action, SAFCEI seeks to:

  • raise environmental awareness
  • engage in formulating policy and ethical guidelines within faith communities
  • facilitate environmental responsibility and action
  • confront environmental and socio-economic injustices
  • support environmental training and learning.

[1] President Jacob Zuma, State of the Nation Address, 2016