Necsa chairman Kelvin Kemm. Picture: THE HERALD
Necsa chairman Kelvin Kemm. Picture: THE HERALD

The CE of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), Phumzile Tshelane, has been reappointed for a further three years despite an application lodged in the High Court in Pretoria by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission to have him placed on probation as a director.

The Cabinet announced Tshelane’s appointment on Friday after more than a year of uncertainty during which his contract, which expired around August 2015, was extended month to month.

Necsa chairman Kelvin Kemm, who joined the board in March, said he had complete faith in Tshelane and complaints by the previous board over the CE’s conduct — which included the abuse of a company car — "had been defeated".

"I am really pleased that Cabinet has endorsed our recommendation. Mr Tshelane, a nuclear physicist, has had many years of experience in the nuclear field and also in the wider electricity landscape. He has also demonstrated superior management skills in a complex environment," he said.

However, the previous board, most of whom resigned or whose terms ended during 2015, had been locked in a protracted conflict with Tshelane. In May 2013, a board inquiry found that he had used a company vehicle for personal use and had engaged a permanent driver.

The board ordered Tshelane to reimburse Necsa for the personal use of the vehicle.

When this had still not been done two years later, some of the directors complained to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. In January, following an investigation, the commission applied to the High Court in Pretoria to have Tshelane placed on probation.

Medi Mokuena, one of the previous directors, has also applied to the high court to
have Tshelane declared a delinquent director.

Kemm said a Constitutional Court ruling made at the end of November had exonerated Tshelane on all matters of misconduct apart from the car.

But the ruling in question — which was a decision of the court on November 30 not to hear another, separate matter brought by Mokuena – bears no relation to Tshelane or his status as a director.

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