The man appointed last week by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown as chairman of Denel was struck off the attorneys’ roll in 2007 before being readmitted in 2011.
Daniel Mantsha is also legal advisor to Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and was investigated by opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party researchers in connection with what appears to be an ongoing fracas at the board of the national broadcaster.
DA shadow communications minister Gavin Davis today confirmed to defenceWeb the new Denel chairman and the Communications Minister’s legal advisor is the same person.
The Public Enterprises statement announcing a “rotation” of the Denel board said Mantsha “obtained a B Juris in 1991 and LLB in 1993 both from the University of Venda. He is an attorney who has acquired valuable experience over the years in corporate finance, transactional advising, business management commercial law, media and communication law, administrative and constitutional law”.
No mention is made of his work for the Communications Ministry.
Davis quoted from the judgement that saw Mantsha struck from the roll to support what he called “a picture of an attorney whose career was blighted by a litany of misconduct, including unprofessional behaviour, dishonesty and misappropriation of funds”.
Some extracts from the judgement read “he did not act with the degree of skill, care and attention expected of a practitioner”, “he acted in a dishonest and deceitful manner”, “he gave the applicant information which he knew to be false”, “he acted unprofessionally and without the care and skill required by an attorney” and “deliberately misstating the facts to the applicant and the court is very serious and is a dramatic deviation from the standard of conduct expected from an attorney”.
Davis said in a statement: “We now know Mantsha is a discredited attorney, it follows that his advice to the Minister can be discredited too,” in reference to the dismissal of SABC board members.
The Department of Communications said Mantsha was readmitted as an attorney in 2011 after a High Court decision and declared fit to practice.