No word from Denel on apparent dismissal of chief executive
Natasha Mazzone, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party shadow public enterprises minister, maintains the dismissal of suspended Denel chief executive Riaz Saloojee is “suspicious and lends credence to the notion that he refused to broker arms deals with the politically connected Gupta family”. At the time of publication there had been no official response from Denel on the apparent firing of Saloojee, suspended along with chief financial officer Fikile Mhlonto and group company secretary Elizabeth Africa last October by what was then a new Denel board of directors. Mazzone said it was “widely speculated” the suspension of the three related to the creation of a new company – Denel Asia – and its link to the Guptas. She wants Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to “remain resolute” against the establishment of Denel Asia until all conditions set have been met and “the deal is free from political influence”. “It was recently confirmed that the VR Laser deal with Denel did not have Treasury approval. Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, stated last week the registration of Denel Asia was illegal and contrary to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Why then was the deal allowed to proceed?” Mazzone asked.