JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Wednesday that it was studying the court judgment dismissing its application against the sale of VR Laser Services assets, and will make a decision on the way forward.
This comes as the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday struck off the roll for lack of urgency Numsa's application to halt an auction set for Thursday of the Gupta-linked company, VR Laser Services' plant and machinery worth millions of rand, in a bid to save 146 jobs.
Numsa wanted the court to prevent the sale of these assets and to force the business rescue practitioners, Robert Knoop and Louis Klopper, to have a meeting in order to consider an offer to buy VR Laser from a consortium called Crede Capital, which was willing to settle all outstanding debts and to continue the business.
VR Laser is a provider of laser and plasma cutting services, CNC drilling and precision press brake bending. The company hit rock bottom after four commercial banks in South Africa stopped providing it with banking services as a result of being implicated in the State capture scandal, which caused it to become financially distressed.
Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, Numsa's spokesperson, said that the union was not defending VR Laser because they support State capture but they were simply defending their members who had nothing to do with allegations of corruption but are facing an uncertain future simply by being associated with the Guptas.
"Unfortunately, the court dismissed our application on the basis that it did not meet the standard for urgency. But it did not deal with the merits of the case. We are disappointed by the outcome because we saw it as a lifeline for our members and their families," Hlubi-Majola said.
"This is a gross injustice, especially for the 146 workers at VR Laser and their families and that is why it is important for us to defend them. A truly caring Socialist government would have intervened directly to save these jobs because the crisis of unemployment and poverty is so dire in our country."
- African News Agency (ANA)