A proposed meeting, at which the ministers of Finance and Public Enterprises will discuss the thorny question of the Denel Asia joint venture, will be in the shadow of National Treasury’s insistence that the proposed joint venture should not go ahead.
This is the gist of a responding affidavit submitted to the North Gauteng High Court by former National Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile. The document was, according to Fin24, one of Fuzile’s final tasks before leaving the Finance Ministry after resigning in April, soon after the sudden axing of former Finance Minister Previn Gordhan by President Jacob Zuma.
The affidavit forms part of National Treasury’s submission to the Pretoria court in support of its counter-claim against Denel, the state-owned defence and technology conglomerate. In March Denel said it was approaching the court for an order declaring approval had indeed been obtained for the establishment of Denel Asia, a joint venture with VR Laser Asia.
The former National Treasury director general is reported as stating in the affidavit: “The legal position set out in the Public Finance Management Act is clear and unambiguous. There can be no reasonable doubt about the proper interpretation of this section. In these circumstances, in exercising its discretion under the Superior Courts Act, this court (the North Gauteng High Court) should decline to grant the declaratory relief sought by the applicant.
“I submit that the application fails to be dismissed with costs, such costs to include the costs consequent upon the employment of two counsel,” Fuzile’s affidavit states.