Thursday, January 17, 2019
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Denel appoints interim Group Chief Financial Officer

Denel has appointed a new CFO.Denel has appointed Wim de Klerk as Interim Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) after terminating the employment of Odwa Mhlwana after he was found guilty of disciplinary charges that dealt with various allegations relating to mismanagement.

Denel on 9 November said that most of the allegations against Mhlwana initially came to the attention of the Board through whistle-blowers and were thoroughly investigated to ensure fairness to the disciplinary process.

“The parting of ways with Denel comes after the completion of the process which commenced in June and was presided over by an independent Chairperson,” Denel said.

“Bringing an end to this process signifies one of the key steps that the Board of Denel has taken to stabilize the business and ensure effective oversight over the company since its appointment in April. The Board has supported the executive management in developing a turnaround plan to drive sustainable growth, and restore Denel’s reputation and rebuild its credibility with key stakeholders,” Denel said in a statement attributed to Vuyelwa Qinga, Group Executive: Communication & Public Affairs.

“The reputational damage the company suffered had led to a loss of confidence from stakeholders, including funders and primarily bankers, who in turn were unwilling to extend credit facilities to the company. The turnaround is also meant to inculcate a culture of governance underpinned by ethical values and integrity, ensuring sound internal controls and restore the company’s position as a strategic national asset and industry leader,” said Denel Board Chairperson Monhla Hlahla.

Hlahla said the board is relieved that the matter has been finalized and the company can now move its focus into other equally important matters to turn around Denel.

Denel said Willem Abraham De Klerk, otherwise known as “Wim”, was appointed with immediate effect. De Klerk is a certified Chartered Accountant with post-graduate Executive Programmes from Darden and Harvard. He joins Denel having recently vacated a Chief Executive Officer position at Arcellor Mittal SA.

“The Board welcomes Mr De Klerk into the interim role and looks forward to working with him in rebuilding Denel towards sustainable growth. The recruitment process for the position of Group Chief Financial Officer will now commence,” Denel said.

Hlahla said it is a priority for Denel to rebuild its reputation and restore its credibility with stakeholders, suppliers, partners and the South African public. One of the objectives is to normalise its capital structure and inject liquidity into the business.

The new Denel Board was appointed in April to restore good governance and accountability and ensure Denel’s sustainability. This followed on a prolonged period of leadership instability and a downturn in Denel’s business amidst revelations about state capture and irregularities.

The former Group Chief Executive Zwelakhe Ntshepe resigned soon after the Board was appointed; and an acting incumbent is in place. The process to appoint a permanent person in this position is nearing completion and an announcement will be made before the end of the year, Denel indicated.