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Meltdown at Armscor?

Oct 24 2012 13:44 James-Brent Styan

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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 Armscor board.

However, Sisulu was posted to another department in a cabinet reshuffle the next day.

Motau then simply stayed on and refused to acknowledge the resignation.

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.

 - Fin24

Follow James-Brent Styan on Twitter @jamesstyan.

 
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