Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has cancelled a “multibillion-rand deal” between a Gupta-linked company and Denel, according to reports.
The Sunday Times reported that Gigaba and Denel board chairman Dan Mantsha spoke about the “financial implications of the deal for the National Treasury” recently in Durban.
Gigaba reportedly instructed Mantsha to withdraw Denel’s high court application against the Treasury, which came after former finance minister Pravin Gordhan refused to approve Denel’s joint venture with VR Laser Asia to form a new company.
“Sources claim that Gigaba was hard on Mantsha and instructed him to deregister Denel Asia and dissolve the joint venture with VR Laser Asia,” stated the report.
Both parties confirmed the meeting took place, but did not disclose what was discussed.
The report stated that Gupta business associate Salim Essa is the sole shareholder of VR Laser Asia and is a director of VR Laser RSA – a company owned by President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane and Rajesh Gupta.
VR Laser has been doing business with Denel for the 15 years, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said in April 2016.
She made the statement following the announcement of the VR Laser-Denel joint venture in January 2016.