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South Africa axes state nuclear firm Necsa’s board

The board was removed over issues of how it was being governed.

South African Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said on Friday that the government had replaced the entire board of directors of state-run nuclear firm Necsa and suspended its chief executive over problems with how it was governed.

The previous Necsa board included prominent backers of plans to expand South Africa’s nuclear power capacity which were shelved by President Cyril Ramaphosa after he succeeded scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma as head of state in February.

Necsa exports medical radioisotopes and promotes research and development in nuclear energy.

“The Necsa board failed to execute its statutory mandate in a satisfactory and prudent manner,” Radebe told a news conference in Pretoria.

He added that several board members had shown “ineptitude and deliberate acts of defiance” which had resulted in setbacks including a halt in production of radioisotopes at Necsa’s NTP subsidiary.

The new board will be headed by Rob Adam, a former Necsa executive who has also served as director of the Square Kilometre Array telescope project. 

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One small step for the President, one giant leap for radio-isotopes.

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