NEW DELHI — After 13 years of a punitive suspension from carrying out defense business in India, the country’s Ministry of Defence has officially withdrawn South African company Denel from its blacklisting.
The ban was recently lifted following a May 2018 judgement by the Supreme Court, which dropped all corruption changes against the defense company, according to an MoD official.
Denel, who is ranked 84 on this year’s Defense News Top 100 list, was one of the prime contenders for small arms, ammunition and artillery programs in the 1980s in India.
The blacklisting was also lifted following a personal request from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a July meeting in Johannesburg.
A few months earlier in April, India’s national investigation agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, had filed the closure report on the corruption case against Denel in the Supreme Court.
Denel executives were unavailable for comment.
Another MoD official said the South African company waived a $100 million penalty that was imposed on the MoD by the Supreme Court following arbitration proceedings.
Denel was blacklisted in 2005 by the then-United Progressive Alliance-run government over allegations that the company paying kickbacks to secure a deal from the year 2000 for the Indian Army’s global tender to purchase of 1,000 NTW-20 anti-materiel rifles along with 398,000 rounds of ammunition.
Under the deal, 700 anti-materiel rifles were to have been purchased directly and the remaining 300 rifles produced under license in one of the factories of the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board, out of which only 400 rifles were inducted; the remaining were put on hold.