However, Sekunjalo spokesman Kaveer Bharath insisted that it was Sekunjalo that had requested that it be removed as preferred bidder in a letter to the deputy director-general of the department.
Sekunjalo, headed by billionaire Iqbal Survé, issued a JSE announcement early on Friday noting that it had been drawn into the fray "regrettably as an innocent third party" by Smit Amandla Marine, that has held the contract since 1994 and challenged the tender procedures at the Western Cape High Court. Sekunjalo announced that it had withdrawn its tender to manage South Africa's eight research and patrol vessels, which include the Sarah Baartman, the Victoria Mkhize, the Lilian Ngoyi and the Ruth First. Smit Amandla Marine spokeswoman Claire Gomes told Business Report it had been notified by the state attorney that the department had revoked the award. "No clarification was provided and, at this time, Smit Amandla Marine has no further comment."
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