Public Enterprises applies for leave to appeal Mango sale judgment.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) says it will be appealing a court ruling that gave it 30 days to approve the sale of Mango Airlines.
The decision to apply for leave to appeal against the September judgment was based on legal advice, the department said in a statement.
On September 6, the Pretoria High Court had ordered Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to decide on the sale of Mango, as proposed by the airline's business rescue practitioners (BRPs), within 30 days.
The DPE also affirmed that Gordhan was still waiting for information from the BRPs, which he needed to make his decision. This information was, firstly (in the order given by the DPE), a detailed business plan, to allow the consortium's viability to be assessed; secondly, "comprehensive due diligence"; and thirdly, details about foreign ownership, to ensure compliance with the country's laws.
The department's statement said that "the intention of this application is to ensure that all aspects of Mango's business rescue process are transparent, legally sound and in the best interest of the South African public."
"This is not a stalling tactic or an attempt to undermine the need to bring finality to Mango's business rescue process."
However, the business rescue practitioner Sipho Sono told the Pretoria high court that he had informed Gordhan that no further information would be provided and acting judge Moses Phooko ruled that this was the end of the matter and that Gordhan was obliged to take a decision within 30 days of the judgment.
Phooko rejected Gordhan's contention the 30 days provided for in the PFMA for the minister to take a decision does not apply until he is "satisfied" with the information provided to him. Gordhan's counsel argued the 30-day requirement did not apply as Gordhan had requested more information on December 21 2022.