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Denel goes to court over Gupta-linked deal

Atul Gupta
Atul Gupta

State arms manufacturer Denel has launched a legal bid to fight National Treasury’s decision to halt a joint venture with the Gupta-linked arms firm VR Laser Asia.

Denel said it had lodged an application with the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

“In spite of the company’s numerous attempts to work with National Treasury to explain the legal processes followed in establishing the Denel Asia joint venture‚ this matter remains unresolved and continues to unfairly cast doubt on Denel’s reputation and governance regime‚” Denel said in a statement.

“The doubts that have been cast over Denel Asia’s legal standing have led to negative perceptions about Denel from various stakeholders‚ clients and potential clients which has impeded the company’s ability to do business effectively‚” Acting Denel Group CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe said in the statement.

“The Asian-Pacific region is an extremely important region for Denel to expand its business and find new markets for our world-class products‚ especially in the fields of artillery‚ armoured vehicles‚ missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.”

The Sunday Times reported in August last year that Treasury and Denel were heading for a standoff over the VR Laser Asia deal.

VR Laser Asia’s sole shareholder is Gupta business partner Salim Essa‚ the newspaper reported. Its parent firm in South Africa is owned by Essa‚ the Guptas and President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane.


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