SAA bidder takes Gordhan to court for withholding documents on airline’s sale

One of the companies that bid for South African Airways (SAA) is suing Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan for not providing documents detailing his decision to sell 51% of the airline.

Toto Investments is now going to court to force Gordhan to hand over the full record of his decision.

News24 reports that lawyers for the company said that the minister has provided only “217 pages of materially deficient documentation”.

It added that Gordhan is required by the court to give a record on the decision to select the Takatso consortium as the preferred bidder for SAA.

Toto Investments’ application will be heard in the Western Cape High Court next week.

The company also wants the sale of SAA to Takatso to be set aside.

This comes after reports in July that the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) was seeking legal advice on whether it should take action on the alleged leaking of official information relating to the SAA/Takatso deal.

This follows a claim that Gordhan allegedly cut out advisors and failed to consult with National Treasury on the deal.

“The department is seeking legal advice on action to be taken on the leakage of official information and the peddling of false and distorted information about this process,” said the DPE in a statement at the time.

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There were also allegations that Gordhan ignored the advice of transaction advisor Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) when choosing Takatso as its preferred bidder.

Gordhan has refused to provide details to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on how Takatso was chosen. He claims the documents can’t be shared due to confidentiality.

The sale of SAA has not yet been completed as Treasury is yet to agree to hand over R3.5 billion to settle the airline’s historical liabilities. 

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