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

Court Challenge over Corvette Radar System




Date 2003-11-11



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

CCII systems of Kenilworth, Cape Town, asked judge Andre 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 South African government's controversial multi-billion rand arms package.

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

The contract was instead 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 Cape High 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 that R13.5-million was outstanding.

Young said he feared once installation had been effected, 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 R14-million.

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

The hearing continues at noon on Wednesday

With acknowledgement to Sapa.