Court rules Zuma's and Putin secret nuclear energy deals worth $73 billion unconstitutional

Jacob Zuma and Vladimir Putin in 2014 struck a deal to expand the nuclear programme by 9600MW.

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The Western Cape High Court on Wednesday ruled that the government failed to adequately consult the public and conduct proper environmental and financial assessments for Russia, South Korea and the United States to build eight nuclear power plants, CGTN reported.

Jacob Zuma and his counter path Vladimir Putin in 2014 struck a strategic cooperation deal for the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom to expand the nuclear programme by 9600MW.

In their landmark ruling Judges LJ Bozalek and Elizabeth Baartman found that the Russian inter-governmental nuclear agreement was "well outside a broad nuclear co-operation agreement."

The court's decision has also paved the way for citizens to have a say in any future decisions about a nuclear future for South Africa.

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute (SAFCEI) moved to court in 2015 to challenge the deals, arguing that the government did not follow proper decision-making procedures before signing the deals.

The two NGOs also claimed the nuclear expansion, which was expected to run up to $73 billion would be prone to graft not to mention taxpayers' could not afford the trillion rand bill.

The government on its side defended the deal by arguing that the new plants would increase power from nuclear by fivefold.

South Africa has struggled with power blackouts for years amid growing demand for electricity.

The country has only one nuclear plant and depends on coal to generate more than 90 percent of its power.

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