Minister to recruit new Armscor bosses

Defence Minister fired Armscor Chairperson Moretti Motau and his deputy Refiloe Mokoena on Wednesday.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula hopes to appoint a new chairperson and deputy to run the Arms Procurement Corporation (Armscor) by the end of next month.

Mapisa-Nqakula fired Armscor's Chairperson Lieutenant-General Moretti Motau and his deputy, Refiloe Mokoena on Wednesday.

She said this was done in the interests of the corporation's ability to deliver on its mandate.

"The minister has taken the decision in the interest of Armscor being able to efficiently carry out its mandate of giving assistance to the Department of Defence," said the minister's spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga.

The acting CEO Sipho Mkwanazi will remain in his position.

Mbananga said the minister is confident remaining board members will be able to carry out their duties.

"She has expressed her confidence for the remaining board members and has full confidence that they are able to carry out their duties. The minister will immediately kick-start the vacancy process through Cabinet."

Mapisa-Nqakula informed the board of the decision at a meeting on Wednesday morning.

"She told the board that she had written to the CEO on 8 August to inform him of her decision to terminate the services."

Just over a year ago, the department dismissed claims that Armscor was falling apart after Motau was fired, but refused to step down.

Motau was apparently fired by previous Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

At the same time, the Democratic Alliance claimed that the acting CEO was supposed to have been replaced by a permanent successor, which has still not happened.

Shortly after Mapisa-Nqakula was appointed as the new minister, the department said she had yet to meet Armscor, but would provide clarity on the issue once a meeting was arranged.

Armscor's function is to acquire, maintain and arrange the needs of the Department of Defence.