Ajay and Atul Gupta File picture: Independent Media

Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has lost its battle to block the business rescue practitioners from auctioning the plant machinery and equipment of the Gupta owned VR Laser on Tuesday.

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim made a failed bid in the High Court in Joburg on day pleading with the interdict business rescue practitioners, Robert Knoop and Louis Klopper, from auctioning the goods.

In their application, Jim had argued in his papers that VR Laser was still contracted to a R700 million deal with Denel to continue to produce armoured vehicles for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). Numsa lodged the application early this month, few months after directors of VR Laser applied for a business rescue.

They argued that their action was prompted by the decision of all major South African commercial banks to terminate their banking services.

Numsa wanted the force the business practitioners to consider a new offer made by a consortium which included the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), who wanted to purchase VR Laser and to retain the jobs of 146 employees.

The consortium has also offered to compensate the Guptas family, their associates Salim Essa, Pushpaveni Govender and Mbanglea Investment as well as former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane for their shareholding interests in VR Laser.

The consortium - Crede Capital Partners also offered the settle a bill of more than R346.7 million owed to creditors.

But the court dismissed the application on the grounds that Numsa failed to prove urgency.

The Star