Denel chairman resigns – report


Indications are one of the first tasks facing new Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is the appointment of a chairman for the Denel board.

This is after it was reported that Daniel Mantsha, appointed as chairman in July 2015, had resigned.

According to TimesLive his resignation was confirmed by Mogokare Richard Seleke, director-general of the Department of Public Enterprises.
“The chief executive of Denel, Zwelakhe Ntshepe, has confirmed that its chairperson has resigned. The letter is en route to the department‚” Seleke said. “Minister Pravin Gordhan has convened an urgent meeting with the outgoing chairperson and chief executive of Denel.”

Mantsha has been implicated in allegations of state capture and his tenure at the State-owned defence and technology conglomerate has been marked by financial problems.

In September last year Outa (Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse) laid corruption charges against Mantsha for his role in the ill-fated Denel Asia project. The joint venture between Denel and Gupta-owned companies would have supplied arms and defence materiel to the Asian market.

During Mantsha’s tenure, Denel was also accused by subsidiary company Land Mobility Technologies (LMT) of diverting Badger infantry fighting vehicle contracts to VR Laser. The matter ended up in court, and many LMT personnel left the company, along with other resignations across Denel.

Denel has lately also been struggling to pay suppliers and employees, and posted erroneous financial results that drew criticism from the Auditor General. Its acquisition of BAE Systems Land System South Africa has hurt its cash supply, and caused some of the issues in paying suppliers.

Mantsha was struck from the attorneys’ roll in 2007 before being re-admitted in 2011 and also served as legal advisor to former Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow communications minister Gavin Davis said at the time of his Denel appointment.

At the time of publication no comment had been received from Denel on the Mantsha resignation, nor was there any response to a request for information from a board meeting last week where restructuring of Denel and its component companies and business units was supposed to be on the agenda.