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State-owned arms manufacturer Denel, which recorded a loss of nearly R2 billion in the past financial year, is strong enough to stand on its own, its chairperson Monhla Hlahla said.

Hlahla made this statement when announcing that the sale of the arms manufacturer to Saudi Arabia was no longer on the cards, according to media reports.

Denel suffered a net loss of R1.8bn in the 2017/18 financial year due to a significant decline in revenue from R8bn the previous year to R5bn.

The new Denel board has been involved in an intensive clean-up campaign to deal with irregular transactions undertaken by previous management, who became entangled with Gupta-linked businesses, read the media reports.

Hlahla told Parliament’s public enterprises committee that there’s also no agreement for financial assistance from Qatar.

“The fact that Denel is not for sale doesn’t mean that Qatar doesn’t want to buy certain things from Denel. We separate the two. We said we are open for business, you can talk to us about the things you wish to buy from Denel,” Hlahla was quoted as saying. “As recently as last week, somebody came to meet us for the first time, we disagreed with their belief that Denel is up for sale.”

Treasury has extended Denel’s government guarantee to R3.4 billion and the board said all its loans had been obtained from local banks.

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