Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2003-11-21 Reporter: Chantelle Benjamin

Young Fails to Delay Navy's Corvette Tests


Business Day

Date 2003-11-21


Chantelle Benjamin

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The testing of the South African Navy's new corvettes and their radar equipment will not be delayed after the Cape High Court turned down an application by losing arms deal bidder CI to prevent installation of the radar system pending the outcome of arbitration over payment.

Judge Andre Blignault gave weight to the claim by Reutech Radar Systems, which subcontracted the construction and testing of eight tracker radar consoles and software to CI, that it would be hit with about R15m in penalties and damages if the application was granted.

The judge found CI MD Richard Young, on the other hand, had failed to show that it would face irreparable harm if it was forced to wait until an independent expert had decided whether Reutech still owed his company R13m as claimed.

Reutech has argued CI failed to comply with their agreement regarding the testing of the consoles and has not satisfied the full contract yet.

Blignault said at the heart of the application was Young's concern his company's rights of ownership might be lost. CI was not asking for the consoles to be returned, however, but for outstanding money, and this money had been placed in a trust account by Reutech pending the outcome of the hearing.

A devastated Young said the defeat was a case of a big company with greater resources taking on a small company.

With acknowledgements to Chantelle Benjamin and the Business Day.