Attack nearly end of story

Websites around the world are thrumming with the news that the Pelindaba nuclear site was attacked by two armed gangs last week.

Websites around the world are thrumming with the news that the Pelindaba nuclear site was attacked by two armed gangs last week.

These were no common criminals hoping to nab whatever they could purloin from the sprawling home of the former regime's nuclear bomb.

Two armed bands attacked almost simultaneously kilometres apart. Neither group hesitated before firing on security personnel.

They had the technical savvy to bypass sophisticated security systems protecting the most sensitive of South Africa's national keypoints.

The Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa, which runs the nerve centre of our nuclear technology, has been left with egg on its face by this embarrassing assault. But for once it is sticking to its promise of transparency.

Rob Adam, the chief executive, summoned journalists to the site and stressed that no nuclear facility on the sprawling campus was ever in jeopardy from the attackers.

Understandably, transparency goes only so far and he would not divulge the additional layers of security he says protect the nuclear facilities at Pelindaba.

We take him at his word.

But Necsa must now keep the public in its confidence. We need to know the results of the investigation as soon as they become available. And Necsa needs to reassure us, honestly, that such an attack could never occur again and place citizens at any risk.

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