File image: Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown will embark on a working visit to Pakistan from 1-3 November on the invitation of Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Production, Rana Tanveer Hussain. 

The three day visit will see the Minister exploring the potential between South Africa’s state-owned arms and defence manufacturer, Denel and Pakistani companies defence force. 

“We are very grateful to the Honourable Minister of Defence Production, Mr Rana Tanveer Hussain, for this opportunity to explore the potential to further deepen the relationship between our countries”, said Brown. 

Minister Brown will lead a delegation to Pakistan that includes the Director-General in her department, Mr Mogokare Richard Seleke, Denel’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Zwelakhe Ntshepe, and senior Department and Denel officials.

Notably, Denel has a reputation for innovation, ranking among the world’s Top 100 arms manufacturers. 

Diplomatic relations between the two states have been maintained since 1994. 

Former President Nelson Mandela also visited Pakistan in 1999. 

The bilateral trade between South Africa and Pakistan is on a significant upward trend. 

The trade has significantly grown from R2.5 billion in 2016 to R8 billion in 2017. 

The South African delegation will also visit strategic sites for discussions on potential future cooperation between Denel and the Pakistani Defence Force.

Yet, the arms deals company has been cast under the spotlight for in early October this year for allegedly tabling a flawed audit report. 

This was brought up in Parliament by the Auditor General’s office. 

The report said SizweNtsalubaGobodo (SNG) failed to properly account for irregular expenditure in its report of Denel’s financials and that legislators should not rely on the financial report tabled by Denel.

The arms dealer has since fired back by stating that all matters relating to irregular expenditure in the 2017 financial year have been fully disclosed.

Denel maintains that this report (note 35 on page 202 of the integrated report) was meticulously reviewed by SNG, prior to them signing off their audit report on July 31st this year.

READ ALSO: Denel clears up 'irregular expenditure' rumours

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE