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South Africa’s top nuclear adviser has gone to ground. Was he fired?

questionflag-S.AfricaLOOKING FOR MR. NUCLEAR,  The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism , 28  Feb 17 Senti Thobejane, President Jacob Zuma’s former point man on South Africa’s proposed R1 trillion nuclear deal, appears to have gone to ground since his sudden departure as energy adviser in late 2015.

Back then he was riding high.

He was not only advisor to Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson, but had outlasted her two predecessors, Dipuo Peters and Ben Martins, reportedly because of his status as Zuma’s personal go-to-guy on the nuclear project.

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One senior Department Of Energy (DoE) official told amaBhungane that he was known in the Department of Energy as “Mr Nuclear”.

Then, on September 15, 2015, Business Day reported that Thobejane had been fired. There was never any explanation or comment from Joemat-Pettersson or the DoE; he simply dropped out of sight.

Not long afterwards, amaBhungane received a tipoff from a highly placed source who had worked with Thobejane at the DoE.

According to the source, Thobejane had been fired after his behaviour in the murky discussions around a nuclear deal had riled senior officials, including the president.

The claim was potentially defamatory and based on insider gossip that was almost impossible to verify.

It went something like this:

Thobejane had travelled to Russia at the same time as Zuma’s mysterious “medical visit” in August 2014.

During that trip an understanding was reached with unidentified Russians which, claimed the source, included the payment of some kind of commission……….


March 1, 2017 - Posted by | politics, South Africa

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