Embattled Denel gets new CEO

Cabinet has approved the appointment of Daniel du Toit as arms manufacturer Denel’s new group chief executive from January 14 2019.

The announcement was made in a joint statement by the public enterprises ministry and the Denel board on Thursday.

Du Toit is expected to build on the turnaround strategy that was introduced at Denel earlier this year. According to the statement, he has a wealth of experience and “will be critical in strengthening the executive management capacity of the company”.

READ MORE: Denel lands deep in Gulf crisis

“We look forward to working with Mr Du Toit to provide direction to Denel and its divisions, in line with the company’s vision, core values and strategic drivers,” said Denel board chairperson Monhla Hlahla.

Du Toit has previously served as managing director at SAAB Medav Technologies in Germany and has held various executive positions at SAAB and Altech Multimedia.

Denel’s turnaround is expected “to arrest the current decline in the company’s performance, inculcate a culture of sound corporate governance that is underpinned by ethical values and integrity — including instituting sound internal controls — and to restore the company’s position as a strategic national asset and industry leader,” Hlahla explained in the statement.

The plan, according to the statement, will include “exploring joint venture partnerships at the product and divisional levels for increased export market access”.

In May this year, then-Denel CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe resigned with immediate effect over “personal reasons”. Michael Kgobe was put in place as the company’s interim replacement. A month before Ntshepe’s resignation, Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan appointed an interim board to help bring about stabilisation at Denel and bring about “good governance”.

Denel, which admitted to experiencing liquidity problems in 2017, came under scrutiny this year when former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s son, Oarabile, was awarded a R1.1-million bursary after his uncle, Tau Mahumapelo, was brought on to the board in July 2015 by then public enterprises minister Lynne Brown as part of a “rotation” board.

Oarabile Mahumapelo’s bursary has since been cancelled.

READ MORE: Denel confirms cancellation of Supra Jr’s bursary

In December this year, Denel said it has a right to recover any money already paid towards Mahumapelo Jr’s studies.

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