Ahead of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit, govt of India confirms the sanctions imposed on the state-owned firm have been lifted

New Delhi: India is set to announce a partnership with state-owned South African weapons manufacturer Denel, which had previously been blacklisted by the UPA government over charges of corruption.

The partnership with Denel and other South African defence firms will be discussed during the visit of the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is arriving in New Delhi Friday to be the chief guest at Saturday’s Republic Day celebrations.

TS Tirumurti, secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said at a press conference Thursday that the Denel issue had been settled in 2018.

“Defence cooperation has always been a very important aspect of our cooperation with South Africa. We have (defence) agreements in 1996, later on 2000 and later than that also. Yes, there has been a problem with Denel, and I am happy that this issue was settled last year,” Tirumurti said.

“We are hopeful that Denel and other (private) defence manufacturers participate in our ‘Make in India’ initiative, and in this context we are having discussions.”

Tirumurti also said Indian defence companies were doing business with private players in South Africa despite the issue concerning Denel. A number of defence agreements, Tirumuti said, are going to be signed in the future.