The appointment of Riaz Salojee as group CE at Denel is welcome.
He replaces Talib Sadik who steps down this month after a three year tenure – remarkably with his reputation intact. This is no mean feat. Sadly, Sadik has elected to leave the defence sector, which is a pity. I’m sure he will be missed.
The appointment of a successful defence industry professional – Salojee – in his place is good. In fact, the former SAAB South Africa boss is an excellent choice. Salojee has been in industry, costly at SAAB, a decade and before that served his country in the South African Air Force.
Dr Sam Gulube, the new Secretary for Defence, is still something of an unknown entity. A medical doctor and surgeon, he has been serving on defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s defence review committee since August. He was also a lieutenant colonel in the SA Military Health Service in the 1990s. Noteworthy is that it took Sisulu’ office a week to say anything about the appointment, first announced in a Cabinet statement last week.
Also worthy of remark is how fast Gulube was appointed – just about a month after his predecessor, Mpumi Mpofu, resigned. By contrast, Mpofu’s appointment, last year April, was a protracted affair. The incumbent, January Masilela, died in a vehicle crash in August 2008. He was replaced – in an acting capacity only – first by Tshepe Motumi and then by Lieutenant General Themba Matanzima.