JOHANNESBURG, Lawyers representing the environmentalist group, Earthlife Africa, are challenging in court South Africa's controversial nuclear energy deal.

They say the 2016 procurement document signed by the Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, contradicts the one published in 2013.

The 2013 document stated that the Department of Energy will carry out the procurement but this was changed in the 2016 version saying that State-owned power utility Eskom Holdings will be the procurer.

Lobby groups are challenging the government's procurement process, arguing that the process followed by the minister is unlawful and lacks public participation.

With Eskom Holdings taking over the procurement of nuclear energy last year, questions arising in court on Wednesday was, "Who is the purchaser?"

Environmentalist groups have brought the case before the High Court challenging the government's procurement process, saying the purchase agreement was signed in secret with Russia.

Advocate David Unterhalter on behalf of Earthlife Africa, argued that the determinations signed by the Minister of Energy were contradictory and confusing.


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