The ousted chair of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA (Necsa) has admitted to signing a Russian nuclear medicine deal against the orders of energy minister Jeff Radebe but says he did so to avoid “political embarrassment”. Kelvin Kemm’s admission comes in response to Radebe on Friday firing the Necsa board and placing the corporation’s CEO, Phumzile Tshelane, on precautionary suspension. Kemm, Tshelane and ousted Necsa board member Pamela Bosman will on Monday morning file an urgent application to reverse Radebe’s decision. In an affidavit that forms part of his bid to reverse his axing, Kemm maintains that he was advised only on the morning of the signing ceremony in July that Radebe did not agree to the deal with Rusatom Healthcare, a subsidiary of Russian nuclear agency Rosatom. The ceremony took place alongside the Brics summit in Johannesburg, which was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. “That belated and unexpected communication placed me in a dilemma,” Kemm stat...

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