19 March 2019

South Africa: Lynne Brown Told Us, 'You're Captured', Denel Senior Staff Tell Commission

analysis

The State Capture Commission has heard how former public enterprises minister, Lynne Brown, allegedly shunned senior staff and took control of the process to appoint a new Denel Board, just as a big fat Gupta deal was in the making.

The Gupta-linked mission to snatch South African-government owned intellectual property held by Denel through an offshore joint venture was masterfully engineered.

Lynne Brown had been installed as the Minister of Public Enterprises. A few months later there was a new director-general at the department. In between, a radical overhaul of the Denel Board, stripped of top-notch expertise, made way for the likes of a controversial lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, as the new chairman.

Testifying at the State Capture Commission on Monday, deputy director-general, Kgathatso Tlhakudi, lifted the lid for the first time on how Brown allegedly disregarded internal opinion about a new board.

This board would later actively pull strings to aid the Denel/VR Laser deal, one featuring Gupta kingpin, Salim Essa, Rajesh Gupta and Duduzane Zuma.

The changes were all perfectly timed and culminated in the appointment of Des van Rooyen as the new finance minister in December 2015.

The architects of this grand plan hadn't bargained on the outcry...

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