Denel has until July 23 to put forward “practical measures” on progress in terms of a judgement pertaining to legal proceedings instituted by trade union UASA (United Association of SA).
The West Rand-based employee representative organisation, along with Solidarity, resorted to legal action following repeated instances of Denel staff either not being paid, being short paid and not having the necessary employer contributions made for, among others, pension and medical schemes.
UASA instituted contempt of court proceedings against the ailing state-owned defence and technology conglomerate after it failed to honour outstanding contractual and statutory obligations to UASA members for May, June and July last year.
The case was postponed in December to allow Denel time to file affidavits in response to UASA’s non-payment allegations.
“That the case was postponed again proves Denel has no solid plan to remedy the situation as regards its employees. The court again ordered Denel to file an affidavit recording progress in implementing the August court order,” according to UASA’s Abigail Moyo.
Earlier this month, Centurion headquartered trade union Solidarity said a warrant of execution was issued in its favour against Denel. This is a sequel to a number of appearances in the Labour Court to force Denel to meet its obligations to employees – in full. According to Solidarity the warrant entitles it to seize assets to the value of R12.7 million.
Both unions maintain they are willing to work with Denel to put the troubled state-owned company, currently under the management of a second acting chief executive within a year, back on track to profitability.
Prior to William Hlakoane being named acting chief executive in February, this post was filled by Talib Sadik for a six month period. He returned to Denel when then chief executive Danie du Toit resigned in August last year.
Denel’s trials and tribulations have seen an exodus of directors, including chair Monhla Hlahla. Other directors who bailed from the Irene, Centurion, headquartered Denel board include former SA National Defence Force (SANDF) chief and past Minister of Communications Siphiwe Nyanda, Kabelo Lehloenya, Sibusiso Sibisi, Nonzukiso Siyotula and Sue Rabkin. Senior staffer Carmen Le Grange (chief financial officer) also submitted her resignation and will leave Denel on 27 March.