The removal of Armscor chairman retired lieutenant general Mojo Motau has been welcomed by political parties.
Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula yesterday abruptly terminated his tenure as well as that of deputy chair Refiloe Mokoena.
FF+ defence spokesman Pieter Groenewald said Motau’s dismissal was more proof cadre deployment without the requisite expertise and skills was harming South Africa’s defence industry.
“Armscor plays an important role in the industry and requires specialists to do the work. The time has come for the Minister to look beyond cadre deployment and transformation and appoint experts to manage Armscor.
“This ignorance has meant important contracts such as the maintenance contract for police helicopters and the SA Air Force’s support contract were not renewed. This holds serious consequences for the combating of crime and the safeguarding of the country,” Groenewald said adding it was Mapisa-Nqakula’s “duty” to appoint experienced experts in these positions.
Defence watchers, including analyst Helmoed Heitman, maintain the government’s defence procurement agency has been dysfunctional for some time now. Others point to a deteriorating relationship between Armscor, industry and the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) exacerbated by Armscor’s announcement it intends levying a service charge on its clients in future.
DA shadow defence and military veterans minister David Maynier welcomed Motau’s dismissal in the light of him not being able to effectively deliver on Armscor’s objective and mandate.
“Motau promised drastic action, including a controversial strategic plan which had little support in the Department of Defence. This, combined with a reign of terror caused a civil war, as he purged senior staff members for, among others ‘inciting employees’ made his dismissal in the best interests of both Armscor and the SANDF,” he said.