Gijima confident over legal dispute

JSE-listed IT company, Gijima says it is confident that it will overcome its legal dispute with IT subcontracting firm, Anderson Scanning Technologies (AST).

Last month, Gijima was ordered to appear in court, facing a R184 million damage claim by AST who was axed by Gijima from a contract to digitise the records in South Africa’s deeds offices.

Gijima said it commenced a due diligence to establish Anderson Scanning’s solvency. The group thereafter applied for the liquidation of AST after it became apparent “that they were hopelessly insolvent,” said Gijima CEO, Eileen Wilton.

According to an article in The Sunday Independent, in papers filed at the Johannesburg High Court, AST MD Andrew Anderson accused Gijima of bringing an application for AST’s winding up with “proverbial dirty hands”.

“AST had a number of defences against the liquidation application, the pivotal one of which is that Gijima launched its liquidation application with proverbial dirty hands, it (Gijima) having been entirely responsible for the financial discomfort AST was experiencing,” Anderson said in court papers.

“Gijima’s arrogance is astounding: it has no right, contractually or otherwise to be in possession of AST’s information and assets yet it brazenly appoints itself as the guardian thereof,” the MD said.

In a telephone interview with BusinessTech, Wilton said that the work to scan all records in the deeds offices “is highly complex”. She said that, having appointed AST, it soon became clear that “this job was beyond its capabilities…the subcontractor could not perform”.

With the company seemingly out of its depth, Wilton said that Anderson Scanning “agreed that they wanted out”. The CEO said that, having conducted further due diligence on the firm, it became apparent that it was “hopelessly insolvent”.

Wilton said that she worked with ACT personally. “I absolutely am sure that I gave them ample time to perform. They couldn’t deliver and got into huge debt.”

Gijima said it assisted AST with R80 million in funding for working capital requirements

Wilton said that Gijima has since put in its own team to work on the contract with the deeds office. “We have been able to deliver,” the CEO said. “This was simply something beyond them”.

“I cant prejudge the court, but we are confident in our case,” Wilton said.

Gijima said that no clear date for a court appearance has been set.

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Gijima confident over legal dispute