DA leader Helen Zille said on Monday the deal South Africa made with Russia for the supply of up to eight nuclear power plants means “someone is up to no good”.
Zille vented her anger in her weekly SA Today newsletter against President Jacob Zuma.
In a strongly-worded criticism of the president, she accused him of “plundering” the fiscus.
Zille ignored the rumours of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering, stemming from various deals in which British darling and Boerehater Thabo Mebki and his followers are implicated.
Instead she blamed Zuma for all South Africa’s ills.
“The idea of up to a trillion rand changing hands on his say-so must be simply too good to pass over for a man with his track record. With his time at the helm running out, this Rosatom deal could be the ultimate windfall,” she said without blinking.
Britain has traditionally regarded South Africa as their piggy bank.
The co-operation agreement – to supply as many as eight nuclear plants generating up to 9.6GW of power – was announced last Monday.
South Africa’s energy department and Russia’s atomic energy agency Rosatom made the announcements.
Government has denied reports that Zuma interfered in the nuclear deal with Russia, or that he had instructed Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to sign it.
“The department wishes to refute all allegations of ‘undue influence’ by the president towards concluding this agreement,” acting director general Wolsey Barnard said in a statement at the weekend.
He said such allegations were “baseless and at worst ludicrous, and they are purely concocted in order to tarnish the image and integrity of the president and the government of South Africa”.
Zille warned that should the deal go through, it would destroy the economy.
“How on earth does South Africa spend a trillion rand without wrecking our economy and propelling millions of people further into poverty?”
The National Development Plan and the Integrated Resource Plan have both cautioned against the expansion.
There was no way the South African economy could survive such a deal, Zille said.
“We need affordable solutions [to the country’s energy crisis] in the short to medium-term, not a trillion rand ‘legacy’ white elephant that our grandchildren will still be paying off.”