In this Oct. 25, 2018, file photo, candles, lit by activists, protesting the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, are placed outside Saudi Arabia's consulate, in Istanbul, during a candlelight vigil. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)
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Loss-making South African arms maker Denel has a problem as it fights to survive. Its potential savior is Saudi Arabia, now drawing fierce criticism following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.Reuters analysed five years of South African arms export data, spoke to former and current Denel employees and obtained internal Denel presentations on plans to rescue the company.What emerged is that Saudi Arabia and its allies account for almost half of South Africa's recent arms exports and a significant portion of future orders.So rejecting Riyadh's $1 billion offer could severely hamper efforts to save Denel, which relies on foreign sales for more than 60 percent of its revenue.Some South African officials are concerned about doing business with Saudi Arabia.Saudi Arabia denies that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's killing.It also wants to cut its salary bill by 20 percent and achieve cost savings of between 157 million and 608 million rand in each of the next five years, the presentation showed.Ramaphosa appeared open to bringing in a partner to bolster Denel when he acknowledged the Saudi bid earlier this month.Despite Ramaphosa's assertion that Saudi Arabia was only one of several suitors, no others have come forward publicly.
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