Zuma in Denel sale talks with Qatar

26 November 2017 - 00:56 By SABELO SKITI and THANDUXOLO JIKA
President Jacob Zuma is going ahead with the Denel deal even though a senior government source said that it would complicate matters SA with Saudi Arabia and other countries in that region.
President Jacob Zuma is going ahead with the Denel deal even though a senior government source said that it would complicate matters SA with Saudi Arabia and other countries in that region.
Image: ADRIAN DE KOCK

South Africa is in talks to sell a controlling stake in Denel to Qatar in a bid to stave off finance woes for the cash-strapped state-owned arms manufacturer.

Qatar Defence Minister Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah is believed to have discussed the proposed acquisition with President Jacob Zuma during a state visit to South Africa earlier this month, the Sunday Times has established.

It is believed negotiations for stakes in South African Airways and power utility Eskom are also underway, but this could not be confirmed by the Department of Public Enterprises or the Presidency.

Denel is in a precarious financial position. It is understood to be due to repay a R1-billion facility to a local bank but does not have the money.

A senior government source said the deal would “complicate matters for us with Saudi [Arabia] and other countries in that region”.

Qatar is currently treated as a pariah state by its neighbours, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Egypt,  over fears that it is harbouring terrorists and sectarian groups aiming to create instability in the region.

• Read the full story on the Sunday Times website


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