In a response to a parliamentary question, Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, has made clear her refusal to release documents pertaining to the nuclear deal on the basis that they are “privileged, sensitive state documents” and “could compromise the new build process.”
The Minister further cited the ongoing litigation brought by Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environmental Institute, invoking the sub judice rule in a spurious attempt to conceal the documents.
These excuses do not pass muster. I will therefore:
Submit further parliamentary questions to the Minister to establish what legal basis she is relying to prevent the release of these document; and
Submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to gain access to the documents.
The Minister has failed the transparency test yet again and is intent on preventing proper oversight over the deal which has been cloaked in secrecy from the start.
Too many questions regarding the decision to proceed with the nuclear deal remain unanswered. The DA will not allow Zuma’s government to keep South Africans in the dark.
Given the potential scope and cost of the deal, and the disastrous impact it could have on the fiscus, it is imperative that all decisions relating to it are made in a transparent manner and open to public scrutiny.
Source: Democratic Alliance.