Former executive sad to see Denel’s decline, state capture inquiry hears
A FORMER Denel executive on Wednesday expressed his sadness at the decline of the state-owned aerospace and military technology company.
Mandlenkosi Dennis Mlambo, who was Denel’s group supply chain management executive until last year, told the commission of inquiry into state capture that the company moved from being showered with accolades as the best governed state-owned entity to failing to pay its employees’ salaries.
”It was actually sad to see Denel in the state that it was in, being unable to pay salaries most of the time, depending on handouts, and we were losing a lot of critical skills,” said Mlambo, who joined Denel in 2004.
He said he was sad to leave after having invested a lot of time and energy to ensure Denel was a viable and successful company.
According to Mlambo, Denel lost focus. “We were not focusing on the things that make a business,” he explained.
“It was sad for me to see that happening because I still believe Denel is a very strategic and critical business – not just for the state but for the country.”
He said the way forward for Denel would be to find the right people in key positions to turn its fortunes.
”It is important. I think it’s still possible, they can still get back some of those lost critical skills and just get people who will focus on the things that matter in a business,” Mlambo said.
He told commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that he was not fired from Denel but decided to leave last year.
His bosses accused him of using a fake letter to award a contract to a company and he was hauled before a disciplinary hearing.
The company in question insisted in writing that the letter was authentic.
Mlambo said he saw this as a ruse to get him out of the way because he was a difficult person and refused to award contracts irregularly to Gupta-owned VR Laser.
He also applied for a voluntary severance package, which was approved, but he was later informed that it was suspended pending the outcome of the disciplinary action. | Political Bureau