Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will fire her next shots in the Constitutional Court in the battle to oust retired lieutenant general Maomela “Mojo” Motau from the chairman’s seat at Armscor.
The former head of Defence Intelligence, along with Armscor deputy chair Refiloe Mokoena, were informed their services were no longer required last August. They took the dismissal to the North Gauteng High Court and were both reinstated.
Joy Nonzukiso Peter, the new spokesperson for Mapisa-Nqakula, told defenceWeb the appeal would be heard by the Constitutional Court on February 17.
If the Ministerial appeal fails, Motau and Mokoena will remain on the Armscor board of directors until their term of office expires at the end of August.
The August 2013 dismissal was the second time Motau successfully challenged a defence minister who wanted him out. Just prior to Lindiwe Sisulu’s move to the Public Service and Administration portfolio in 2011 her unhappiness with Motau’s performance saw her dismiss him. He refused to go and for a time Armscor was headed by a pair of chairmen.
Last August’s dismissal was said at the time to be because Motau and Mokoena apparently did not have the best interest of Armscor and its mandate at heart.
Announcing their removal from office, Mapisa-Nqakula said she would make an announcement about their replacements at the end of August. No such announcement was made.
Mapisa-Nqakula’s attempt to get Armscor back on track was welcomed by opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party shadow defence and military veterans minister David Maynier.
“She was absolutely correct to remove Motau and his deputy as part of resolving the crisis at Armscor. The procurement agency’s failure to deliver was evidently compromising the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) operational capabilities. Long delays in finalising certain project had a negative impact on, for example, the deployment of soldiers to the DRC,” Maynier said.
Another example of Armscor induced delays has meant 26 less Badger infantry combat vehicles will be delivered to the SA Army as replacements for its ageing Ratel fleet by the end of 2022. Denel Land Systems was to have produced 264 of the new generation vehicles but this was cut to 238.