DENEL, the state-owned arms maker, announced yesterday that it is engaging with contractor Saab Grintek Defense to reach an “out-of-court outcome” on its offer to liquidate Denel for unpaid debts.
In a brief notice to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Denel said that “Noteholders are referred to various press articles relating to a request by Saab Grintek Defense for the liquidation of the company. In this regard, Noteholders are informed that Denel is currently engaging with Saab Grintek Defense to reach an amicable result and, if necessary, will engage its legal advisers to defend this matter. “
It recently emerged that Saab Grintek Defense was seeking to liquidate Denel following a failed contract to supply 211 fire control computers for SA Army Badger infantry fighting vehicles built by Denel Land Systems. .
The opinion comes days after SOE Minister Pravin Gordhan admitted the financial problems of SOEs to Parliament’s portfolio committee, but failed to make a firm commitment from the state on the interventions.
Abigail Moyo, spokesperson for the Uasa union, said this week that the Saab Grintek Defense liquidation offer, while justified in view of Denel’s current liquidity difficulties, could have been avoided had the state intervened in time as he had pleaded. Uasa said she was aware other creditors were also demanding long-overdue payments from Denel.
“We remain committed to helping our members through this new development. If Denel’s liquidation turns out to be the result of a lawsuit by Saab Grintek or any other creditor who may now be brought to the High Court, we will step in to assist our members with their claims against the SOE by designating our preferred liquidator for consideration to ensure a fair process, ”he said.
Uasa, who has a warrant against Denel, sued Denel’s lack of payment for labor in various forums: Labor Court, Nedlac, Department of Employment and Labor, Department of Mineral Resources, Ministry of Public companies, Port Folio Parliamentary Committee.
He is currently awaiting a court date where Denel will have to explain his financial situation and justify why the subpoena against him cannot be carried out.