A director of one of the two Robben Island boat operators accused of price-fixing and tender collusion took the stand at the Competition Tribunal and denied all the allegations, says a Cape Argus report.

Craig Girdlestone, director of Ferry Charters, took the stand shortly after Zanele Mkubukeli, a senior manager at the supply chain management at the Robben Island Museum (RIM), concluded her testimony.

Lawyers for the second accused, Heritage Charters, did not call any witnesses.

Girdlestone was questioned about the allegations emanating from an investigation carried out by the Competition Commission in 2015, which found that around 22 September 2015, five companies, including Ferry Charters and Heritage Charters, met at the Cape Town Fish Market coffee shop where they allegedly discussed an increase in the prices they would charge when responding to a tender that would be issued by the RIM.

The ferry operators provide chartering services to the museum’s clients from the V&A Waterfront and back.

Girdlestone admitted the companies met at the coffee shop, but denied there was any talk about price fixing.

The matter has been postponed for final arguments by both parties.

The arguments will not be presented orally and the commission and the two ferry operators were ordered to submit their final arguments in writing on 6 June and 19 June respectively.

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