Cape Town - State-owned arms company Armscor appears to be
falling apart, with a civil war raging in the boardroom.
The major issue seems to be chairperson Mojo Motau's
refusal to vacate his position after he
was fired by the previous minister of defence.
Motau was fired by former minister of defence and military
veterans Lindiwe Sisulu on July 11, when she sent a letter to Motau informing
him of this. She also appointed Refiloe Mokoena as the new chairperson of the
However, Sisulu was posted to another department in a
cabinet reshuffle the next day.
Motau then simply stayed on and refused to acknowledge the
It is not clear why Sisulu fired Motau but one reason could
be a controversial strategy designed to turn Armscor around.
This strategy, entitled Repositioning Armscor: Strategy
through the 21st Century was rubbished by several experienced Armscor senior
management members as “a document that shows an abysmal lack of understanding
of the business in general and the technicalities in particular”.
The strategy was particularly at odds with the proposal to
establish a “Defence Material Organisation” in the Defence Review.
According to DA MP David Maynier, the strategy was also not
supported by the defence department.
New Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe
Mapisa-Nqakula has confirmed in reply to a parliamentary question that Motau is
still in his post.
Meanwhile, however, several other senior management
officials are still suspended after questioning the Armscor strategic plan. Two
have been fired.
Maynier said the board and senior management of Armscor have
been engaged in what amounts to a “civil war” for years.
“There needs to be clarity and direction. This is not
happening,”’ said Maynier.
Armscor appeared before parliament's portfolio committee on
defence on Wednesday.
Follow James-Brent Styan on Twitter @jamesstyan.