OUTA hands Denel information to State Capture Inquiry
The submission is on the state-owned defence entity Denel, which reports to the Minister of Public Enterprises.
It’s the first of a number of submissions planned, which build on OUTA’s 2017 report to Parliament, No Room to Hide: A President caught in the act. OUTA’s state capture submissions aim to outline how appointees under former President Jacob Zuma’s leadership manipulated policies and entities in the interests of themselves or the Guptas, rather than in the interests of the country.
In OUTA’s submission, the organisation shows how Denel moved from being a profitable company with an order book of more than R35 billion in 2015 to an entity which came perilously close to handing over defence technology to the Guptas.
Under Minister Lynne Brown’s direction, the Denel board was replaced in 2015 with a board which planned the capture of the entity. She approved the appointment of a new chairman – lawyer Lugisani Daniel Mantsha, who was once disbarred then reinstated and is now Zuma’s lawyer.
In September 2017, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) laid charges of corruption against Mantsha over his Denel activities, specifically the Denel-Asia venture with the Guptas to supply weapons to the Asian market. This involved an attempt to transfer Denel’s technology, intellectual property and training to a joint venture with the Guptas.
Former Denel CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe was also implicated in this deal, which was blocked by the National Treasury and ultimately collapsed.
OUTA believes that the board set up by Brown took decisions on Denel which did not make commercial sense but were aimed at lining the Guptas’ pockets in a massive state heist.
The Denel submission is here, the executive summary is here and the annexures are here.