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Army sued for E10m for spy gadgets

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MBABANE – The Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) is being sued for over E10 million over a purchase order for a number of spy cameras and gadgets which it later cancelled.

Naspoti J & M Security Solutions, a company based in Nelspruit South Africa, has alleged that it entered into an agreement with the army to supply it with various electronic gadgets.

It alleged that the agreement entered into was signed by its Marketing Director, Musa Magongo and USDF’s Colonel RM Dlamini on June 30, 2011. The USDF is yet to respond to the allegations.

Naspoti J & M Security Solutions claims that the deal was for the USDF to pay a 50 per cent deposit to enable it to supply the goods. It alleged that the army ordered gadgets, such as GSM Option: Voice Intercept or delivery and SMS (Short Message Service) Intercept or delivery, among other items worth E7.4 million.

"Besides the written order, the USDF also purchased from the plaintiff, spy cameras and alarm systems worth E2 525 869. It was material terms that upon plaintiff placing an order, the USDF would pay 50 per cent deposit for the said items to be delivered," read summons filed before the High Court.

Naspoti J & M Security Solutions alleged that it duly purchased the said items from other suppliers for E10 024 840, on behalf of the army. It claims that the army has breached the provisions of the agreement in that it failed, refused or neglected to pay the 50 per cent deposit to enable it to deliver the goods. It claims that, instead, the USDF cancelled the purchase orders.

It has since instructed Hlabangana and Associates to institute legal proceedings claiming payment of E10 024 840.

It submitted that the army cancelled the purchase without taking into consideration that the goods ordered had been purchased solely to suit the USDF’s military needs. It further alleged that since it had already paid a deposit of the E10 million purchase price it was impossible for it to return the goods to suppliers.

"There is no other person or country that will purchase the said goods from Naspoti J & M Security Solutions. The supplier is demanding payment of the full purchase price from the plaintiff," it stated in the summons.

The company has further argued that it could not resell the goods to other customers, therefore, the USDF was liable to pay. It alleged that despite lawful demand, the army has failed to make payment.

It is demanding payment with nine per cent interest calculated per year and costs of suit. The matter is pending before the High Court.

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