This was the opening statement from the lawyers representing Ferry Charters and Heritage Charters. The case relates to an investigation conducted by the Competition Commission in 2015 which found that around September22, 2015, five companies, including the accused, met at the Cape Town Fish Market coffee shop where they allegedly discussed the prices they would charge when responding to a tender that would be issued by the Robben Island Museum.
The boat operators provided chartering services to the museum’s clients from the V&A Waterfront to Robben Island and back.
In its opening statement the commissioner told the tribunal that three of the companies had admitted wrongdoing and entered into settlement agreements, whereas Ferry Charters and Heritage Charters had denied the allegations. In June last year the tribunal confirmed that Thembekile Maritime Services (Pty) Ltd paid a penalty of R350000, Silverbuckle Trade 21 CC t/a Yacoob Yacht paid R29171.72 and Nautical Charters paid R422083.87.
Replying to the allegations, the lawyers for the ferry companies told the tribunal that their clients denied that any agreement had been reached at the meeting or that there was any evidence against them.