R1.2m pi­lot bur­sary for Supra’s son crashes

Denel set to re­coup money al­ready paid

Sowetan - - News - By Linda En­sor

The bur­sary agree­ment worth R1.2m be­tween Denel and the son of former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo has been ter­mi­nated and Denel has re­served its right to re­cover the monies paid to him. Denel board mem­ber Talib Sadik told par­lia­ment’s pub­lic en­ter­prises com­mit­tee that the pi­lot’s bur­saries for Oara­bile and two oth­ers were not ap­proved as re­quired by the group’s bur­sary pol­icy. “Pi­lot bur­saries are not part of our bur­sary pol­icy.”

The air school for the pi­lots was not an ap­proved study in­sti­tu­tion in terms of Denel’s bur­sary pol­icy and the pi­lot bur­saries were not ad­ver­tised as re­quired. “The pi­lot bur­saries were granted with­out fol­low­ing the proper se­lec­tion process as set out in Denel’s bur­sary pol­icy,” Sadik said. Sowe­tan’s sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion Busi­ness Day re­ported in April that Denel de­nied the bur­saries were done in con­tra­ven­tion of the ail­ing com­pany’s pol­icy.

“The award was made in com­pli­ance with Denel’s rel­e­vant pol­icy after a full dis­clo­sure and pre­sen­ta­tion to the board of di­rec­tors of Denel which was noted with­out any ob­jec­tion‚” Denel said in a state­ment at the time. Fol­low­ing the al­le­ga­tion, pub­lic en­ter­prises min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han asked the then newly ap­pointed Denel board to in­sti­tute an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In May, Denel group chief ex­ec­u­tive Zwe­lakhe Nt­shepe re­signed. Ac­cord­ing to Rap­port news­pa­per, Nt­shepe per­son­ally signed the bur­sary con­tract. The sit­u­a­tion at Denel un­der his ste­ward­ship was so dire that the ail­ing state-owned arms man­u­fac­turer could not pay its sup­pli­ers and staff salaries. The newly ap­pointed in­terim board was said to have made it clear that it had lost con­fi­dence in his abil­ity to man­age the com­pany. Nt­shepe and former board chair­per­son Daniel Mantsha were im­pli­cated in al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture in a tranche of leaked Gupta e-mails. Mantsha re­signed in March.

/ ALAISTER RUS­SELL

Supra Mahumapelo’s son Oara­bile has had his R1.2m bur­sary re­voked by Denel as it was not ap­proved as per the state-owned en­tity’s pol­icy.

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