Appeals Court throws out China Jiangsu's case

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Court of Appeal has dismissed with costs an application for an expedited appeal filed by Chinese construction company, China Jiangsu against the government.

The Chinese company was labelled a security threat by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), a decision that resulted in government not dealing with it anymore.

It has since been going in and out of court clashing with the government on different tenders it claimed to have won.

On the dismissed application, the company went to court seeking both a fast-forward appeal for the Maun tender and an interim interdict pending the appeal.

The P1, 568, 877, 164. 38 was for a tender for the design, supply and build of water distribution network, sanitation, reticulation, telemetry, and scada and other associated works in Maun.

The tender was floated around June 2017 and according to the company, they were the successful bidder but after being awarded the tender, it was taken and awarded to another company.

When passing judgement, Justice Isaac Lesetedi said no case was made for an expedited hearing or for an interim interdict pending the appeal.

He explained that prejudice the company is suffering was lesser weighed against the public interest.

“The grant of the relief sought will thus only delay this project of public importance to the community even further with attendant cost,” he said.

Lesetedi also said it was in the public interest that the values of a fair, accountable and transparent procurement system were adhered to and parties whose rights have been infringed by the breach of those values could meaningful have judicial recourse.

He noted that in the application by Jiangsu it is pursuing the application with the expectation to enter into a commercial transaction while the values of openness are not the prime object of the claim.

“The cost overruns which may well eclipse what damages the company may suffer together with prejudice to the community brought by the interim interdict are very significant,” he said.

He further explained that it was in the public interest that the important tender for the benefit of the disadvantaged sections of the population be concluded as soon as possible especially that it has been already delayed.

“Such delays can cause incalculable harm, not only in inevitable cost overruns but prolong suffering of the community,” he said.

Justice Lesetedi told the company that there are remedies available and that since it has already chosen the review route it will no doubt chart its future course following the outcome of the application.

Senior Counsel John Peter instructed by Kgalalelo Monthe appeared for China Jiangsu, while Tshiamo Rantao represented the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board.

Attorneys Sefelani Thapelo and Grenorrah Begani represented the Attorney General and the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services.

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