Armscor chairman and deputy dismissed


The chairman of Armscor, Lieutenant General (ret) Maomela “Mojo” Motau, is no longer head of government’s defence acquisition agency. His service was “terminated” today with immediate effect by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

This is the second time the former head of defence intelligence has been summarily dismissed from the top position at Armscor.

He was appointed by former Defence and Military veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu in 2011 and dismissed by her a year later, shortly before she was moved to another Cabinet position by Commander-in-Chief President Jacob Zuma. At that time he refused to leave office forcing the Corporation into the untenable position of having to have a pair of chairmen.

Mapisa-Nqakula also “terminated” the services of deputy chair Refiloe Mokoena.

The announcement, sure to cause a stir in the local defence industry, was made public via a statement following an Armscor board meeting.

It is common knowledge in the industry that all has not been well at Armscor with, among others, the delay in finalising the contractual work for the SA Army’s new infantry fighting vehicle as well as apparent summary disciplinary steps being taken against experienced and long-serving personnel.

There was also unhappiness about the still-to-be-published new Armscor Strategy. In the last Armscor annual report Motau’s chairman’s report said, in part, the corporation had become “a mere shadow of its former self” and that “a new path had to be defined”. This apparently also included the levying of a 10% service fee by clients, primarily the SA National Defence Force, for using Armscor’s services.

The removal of the pair is seen as being the straw which broke the camel’s back when it came to Mapisa-Nqakula’s patience with the unsatisfactory state of affairs at Armscor.

The summary removal of the top two members of the Armscor board means there are three vacancies that have to be filled and Mapisa-Nqakula indicated she expects these to be filled and a new chairman and deputy chair finalised by the end of September.