Publication: News24 Issued: Date: 2003-11-11 Reporter: Sapa

Corvette's Radar Under Fire




Date 2003-11-11

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Cape Town - A company marketing hi-tech radar-tracking systems on Tuesday launched an urgent application in the Cape High Court to prevent installation of the devices in the navy's new corvettes.

CCII systems of Kenilworth, Cape Town, asked Judge André Blignault for an interim interdict restraining Reutech Radar Systems from installing the devices.

The first of the corvettes, the SAS Amatola, sailed into Simon's Town naval dockyard last week from the Hamburg shipyard where she was built.

The corvettes are part of the government's controversial multibillion-rand arms package.

Earlier this year, CCII launched a R150m 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.

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

According to the contract, ownership of the devices remained with CCII until paid for, he said.

Some of the devices had been delivered to Reutech, but not paid for, and R13.5m was outstanding.

Young said he feared that once installation had been done, the company's rights as owner of the devices would be frustrated.

He said the dispute was to be adjudicated by an expert arbitrator whose mandate was to establish the exact amount still to be paid.

Reutech MD Pieter Smit denied that CCII owned the systems and claimed to have already paid R14m.

Smit said Reutech would oppose the application, but needed time to prepare documentation.

The hearing continues at noon on Wednesday.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and