Necsa CEO Phumzile Tshelane axed by Jeff Radebe

South Africa Energy Minister Jeff Radebe Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

South Africa Energy Minister Jeff Radebe Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

The minister says he based his decision on the serious nature of the charges he was facing.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe axed Nuclear Energy Corporation SA (Necsa) chief executive Phumzile Tshelane on Tuesday.

Radebe said he based his decision to remove Tshelane, who was on precautionary suspension, on the seriousness of the charges the Necsa CEO was facing and on a resolution by the board of a disciplinary panel recommendation, Fin24 reports.

Radebe said Tshelane’s removal would be effective on May 11.

An advertisement for the vacant post is expected to be put out by the board which will set in motion the recruitment process to fill the position.

Early in December, Radebe disbanded the Necsa board, saying acts of some defiant board members had compromised the ability of the entire board to discharge its fiduciary duties. A new board has already been appointed.

Radebe accused some of the board members of unauthorised international travel, mismanagement, remuneration irregularities, being responsible for a safety violation incident in March 2018, and allegedly issuing misleading and defamatory media statements.

He blamed the board for a long shutdown in production at its subsidiary, NTP Radioisotopes, and accused them of signing a memorandum of understanding with a subsidiary of Russia’s Rosatom nuclear corporation despite explicit instructions not to do so.

The axed board, in turn, accused the minister of disbanding the board on a flawed procedure as a smokescreen for his “real agenda” to remove members who were opposing an alleged illegal deal to seek a portion of the valuable 100% Necsa-owned NTP Radioisotopes to an American company. Radebe disputed their claims.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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