Solidarity demands explanation as former SA Express CEO is now calling the shots at Denel

Monhla Hlahla. (Photo sourced.)

TRADE union Solidarity today demanded an explanation from both the newly appointed chair of the Denel board,Solidarity demands explanation as former SA Express CEO, Monhla Hlahla, is now calling the shots at Denel and the Minister of Public Enterprises,  Pravin Gordhan, after it came to light that  Victor Xaba, former acting CEO of SA Express, has been appointed as acting CEO of Denel Aeronautics.

Solidarity’s concerns about the appointment follow shortly after it became known that SA Express had awarded a controversial R2,4 billion fuel tender to EML Energy during Xaba’s term as the company’s acting CEO.

This comes after two SA Express executives, Sam Vilakazi and Miriam Machoele, signed a deal with EML Energy to supply the already ailing SA Express with fuel for three years, despite a ten-year contract being in place with South African Airways (SAA) for the supply of fuel. Not a single drop has yet been supplied to the airline by EML Energy.

According to Reyneke, a source confidentially told Solidarity that this unlawful deal was concluded during  Xaba’s term of office, while Miriam Machoele responded to recent rumours by contending that she had authorisation from  Xaba to sign the deal on behalf of the airline. “It is alarming that such a major deal, for which tender procedures were not followed at all, could slip past a CEO unnoticed. If Xaba was worth his salt as a CEO, he would have seen to it that the tender process took its lawful course, and the controversial R2,4 billion tender would not have been awarded to an unknown music promoter,” Reyneke said.

Reyneke also said Solidarity was concerned about its members, as well as the future of Denel Aeronautics under the leadership of  Xaba. Solidarity requests Denel to explain why a person who has a hand in incongruous tender procedures is heading a division of Denel, especially given that Denel itself recently suffered under corruption and financial mismanagement which Solidarity disclosed in December 2017.

“It is imperative that Denel now appoint accountable managers in its ranks to ensure the company’s future, instead of merely moving cadres linked to possible tender irregularities at other state enterprises from one to the other,” Reyneke concluded.