The Competition Tribunal has given Group Five 20 business days to plead to charges relating to a case where it entered a collusive tendering agreement with construction companies WBHO and Murray & Roberts (M&R) in a 2006 project for the South African National Roads Agency.
This followed an unsuccessful application by Group Five to be given access to the Competition Commission’s record of investigation into the Senekal project, before it pleaded.
However, the competition authorities noted that the company could only receive the documents after pleading.
The commission, in a separate application, had asked the tribunal for a default judgement as Group Five had not filed an answer to the charges against it, and the time for doing so had lapsed.
The Senekal project was aimed at rehabilitating the National Route 5, section 4 between Senekal and Vaalpenspruit, in the Free State.
WBHO received conditional leniency from the commission, while M&R entered into a settlement agreement in 2013.