Publication: Sapa Issued: Cape Town Date: 2003-11-20 Reporter: Sapa

Cape High Court Rules Against Young's C2I2





Cape Town

Date 2003-11-20


The Cape High Court ruled against Richard Young and his company C2I2 on Thursday, paving the way for the installation of a hi-tech radar-tracking system onboard the SAS Amatola and subsequent new navy corvettes.

Judge Andre Blignault essentially ruled against C2I2 because he felt that the balance of convenience suited Reutech Radar Systems.

Young, the managing director of C2I2, brought an urgent application in the Cape High Court last Tuesday, seeking to prevent the installation of the radar systems on the navy's new corvettes, which formed part of the government's controversial multibillion-rand arms package.

In last Tuesday's application against Reutech, Young told the court in papers that an agreement concluded in 2000 stipulated that payment had to be made to C2I2 before Reutech could instal the radar devices.

According to the contract, the devices remained C2I2's property until paid for, he said.

All the equipment had been delivered to Reutech, but had not been paid for in full, with R14.9 million outstanding.

"All it means now is we have to go through a lengthy arbitration process in order to get our money," Young said on Thursday.

He told Sapa that the judgment would "absolutely" affect the business relationship between Reutech and C2I2, which had generated between R40 and R50 million over years.

Young said getting the money was a bit more than just the principal of the matter, because the R14.9 million or R28 million at today's prices was not a little money in anyone's terms.

"It's just a case of a big company putting financial pressure on a smaller company in order to get a better deal for themselves with regard to the radars," he said.

Earlier this year, C2I2 brought a R150 million lawsuit after it lost a subcontract to supply information management systems for the corvettes.

The contract was awarded to Detexis Systems, a sister company of African Defence Systems which has been linked to the firm of Deputy President Jacob Zuma's friend, Schabir Shaik.

Apart from the R150 million lawsuit, Young has also instituted four defamation suits against various parties in the arms deal.

He won the first against Yunis Shaik, brother of Nkobi Holdings boss Schabir Shaik, in September this year.

The Cape High Court found that Yunis Shaik, who appeared on on behalf of his family, defamed Young by saying that he "tendered an untested product" that was turned down and had pursued a programme of sleaze and slander in the media.

The second is against Rear Admiral Johnny Kamerman, the corvette project officer for the navy. Kamerman was the first to claim that Young jeopardised national security.

He has also sued Pierre Moynot, the chief executive officer of African Defence Systems and former Public Protector Selby Baqwa for defamation.

With acknowledgement to Sapa.