The Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had on Thursday confirmed a receipt requesting her to probe the controversial business relationship between state arms manufacturer Denel and the Gupta family.
According to Madonsela’s spokesperson, Oupa Segwale, the trade Union Solidarity sent a letter to the office asking for her to investigate the online reports on the alleged link between the Guptas and the Denel to profit from the sale of its products in the East.
It was reported that Denel announced the formation of joint venture company Denel Asia but was unable to identify the Gupta family as shareholders by name. According to the report, the joint venture also concluded at the absence of Denel’s chief executive, chief financial officer and company secretary.
Furthermore, Denel was said to have also announced that Denel Asia‚ whose headquarters is located in Hong Kong‚ would help Denel find new markets for its world-class products in artillery field, armoured vehicles‚ missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. The statement also had it that Denel Asia would pay more attention to countries like India, Cambodia, Indonesia. Philippines, Vietnam, Pakistan and Singapore who in need of defence acquisitions.
The office of the Public Protector has however noted that the solidarity is not comfortable with the transactions that was made with the company because to them, it’s at the detriment of the company’s future and that of its employees.
Meanwhile, Johan Botha who is the union’s deputy general secretary for the professional industry‚ said that they are suspicious of the legitimacy of the transaction especially as the Gupta family has a strong relationship with the president and as the Denel executive and chief finance officer was absent at the meeting. He added that the union wouldn’t want the image of Denel to be further tarnished “We are furthermore concerned about its impact on this year’s salary negotiations and that our members will be adversely affected by it‚” Botha said.
The Gupta family has in the recent times been under fire for its alleged plans to control the country’s economy through its close ties with the president. To this, individuals and political parties like the Economic Freedom Fighters fight make sure the family leaves the country.