KWV has settled a legal wrangle with five former head office employees who were suing for unlawful dismissal, but was still involved in another financial fracas with 29 UK based ex-Cavendish & Sons personnel.

The Paarl-based wine and spirits company reached an out of court settlement with the five former senior personnel late yesterday, negating the need for a 10 day Labour Court battle which was due to start on Monday.

This was the result of a retrenchment reshuffle at KWV exactly two years ago, which resulted in about 160 employees losing their jobs.

A KWV Limited spokesman confirmed that the case had been settled and an amicable agreement reached, stating, "the group was happy with the settlement proposal and withdrew their action.

The agreement included a confidentiality clause not to make public the final settlement.

In the UK ECS employees face a bleak retirement following KWV's decision to wind up its final salary scheme, which could see employees, some with as much as 25 years service, only expected to receive about 40% of their pension.

They are trying to get KWV executives not to renege on the company's commitment to personnel who kept the company's flag flying during the difficult period of the sanctions era.