An urgent application by systems integrator Dimension Data to stop the justice department from implementing a R500 million tender for a new court recording system has been struck off the roll.
Judge Annali Basson yesterday ruled in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that Dimension Data’s application was not urgent and struck it off the roll with costs.
Dimension Data, responsible for the outdated recording system in the country’s courts, asked the court for an urgent interdict to stop the implementation of the tender pending the outcome of their review application to overturn the awarding of the tender to rival Datacentrix.
Dimension Data alleges the tender process was non-competitive and infected with “illegality, impropriety and corruption”. The tender was awarded to Datacentrix in January last year and the installation of the new system will be completed by the end of the month.
Dimension Data first threatened with urgent court proceedings in February 2015, but did nothing for over a year and only launched the review proceedings at the end of March and the urgent interdict proceedings at the end of May this year, by which time the implementation of the tender was already well under way.
Judge Basson said Dimension Data had, in fact, actively participated in the implementation of the new contract by facilitating the handing over process, which included the decommissioning and removal of the old system.
The company also agreed to ensure that the old system was operationally supported and maintained until the system was switched off and removed by the end of September 2016, and entered into a R21 million contract with the department to assist with backing up the latest data.
The judge said there could be no doubt that Dimension Data had been aware of the awarding of the tender as far back as January 2015, and was aware that the department had commenced with the rollout of the contract in 2015.
Judge Basson said she had no quarrel with the submission that it was in the public interest to interdict perceived invalid administrative acts, but Dimension Data was not entitled to approach the court on an urgent basis after waiting for an extraordinarily long time. She said it could also not be overlooked that the new system had already been installed.