AS IT HAPPENED: Tlhakudi details how he was forced out of Denel, how others remained jobless - #StateCaptureInquiry

2019-03-18 16:00

The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture continues with testimony from deputy DG of Public Enterprises, Kgathatso Tlhakudi, related to Denel.

WATCH LIVE: State Capture Inquiry 

(Courtesy of SABC)

Raymond Zondo chairs the state capture inquiry
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Last Updated at 04:51
18 Mar 17:24
Zondo asks Tlhakudi about a meeting with the Minister Brown where it was said that him and his team were captures. He says he didn’t ask further about that because it was like a "dressing down".

18 Mar 17:21

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Tlhakudi says one is left at the mercy of these decisions and he would be more cautious on how to react and become careful in not aggravating.


18 Mar 17:09

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Tlhakudi speaks about meeting with his entire team where Seleke comes in, infuriated that someone from the team "must have leaked information" to the Mail & Guardian newspaper on a report they had done.

"Next day I called the managers in my team and asked them to protect the subordinates, and that if anybody should lose their job it should be me," Tlhakudi says.


18 Mar 17:03
Tlhakudi says Mantsha’s posture in the meeting was to quieten him down after his protesting the Denel board chair’s presence in the meeting.

18 Mar 16:52

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18 Mar 16:36
Tlhakudi: If it was to be operationalized and entered the Indian market on the back of Denel’s intellectual capital, VR Laser Asia would have benefitted.  

18 Mar 16:33
Timing is curious of the lodgment of the application. An incomplete nature of the application makes it look like it was a rushed job, says Tlhakudi.    

18 Mar 16:30

18 Mar 16:27
We were aware of the ownership structure of VR Laser SA and India says Tlhakudi.

18 Mar 16:25

The government guarantee that had been extended to Denel had a condition that Denel cannot undertake major transactions without the approval of the minister.  

The executive authorities – Minister of Public Enterprise – would be the one to make an approval on that but Denel sought it from the minister of finance, who had an interest in the transactions.


18 Mar 16:20

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Tlhakudi: There was more to this transaction, considering the pressure we were put under.

18 Mar 16:18
It was clear that this transaction was a "no-go" Kgathatso Tlhakudi says.

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18 Mar 15:51

The focus shifts to Denel Asia, which reportedly cost Denel R3bn.


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Tlhakudi: "I remember the disciplinary hearing that was called... you walk in, you have one of the very prestigious lawyers here in Johannesburg, the partner, he's sitting across, prosecuting. I'm coming in with my attorney." 

Tlhakudi: "You know they literally, the company was prepared to use as much resources as possible to ensure that I leave. I eventually left. We got to the Labour Court, the judge said to Armscor, 'You have to negotiate with this man', which they did. I walked out of there with about a four months' salary, all of it went to the lawyers, including my own reserves as well." 

Tlhakudi: "So that's the experience that I had. Pierre Meiring today is sitting here, he doesn't have a job, he has never worked since." 

Zondo asks if he (Meiring) went to court, and Tlhakudi says he chose to go through the CCMA, but he wasn't successful and decided not to pursue it any further. 

Tlhakudi: "And in defence electronics, one of the top specialists we have in this country has never been able to work again..." 

Tlhakudi: "So that's what had left a mark with me."  


18 Mar 15:28

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Tlhakudi: "Firing a board every time is such a blunt instrument, because it tends to happen also so late, the mess has already happened..."


18 Mar 15:17

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Tlhakudi says the "new board" was not performing on its own mandate and Denel was experiencing losses.


18 Mar 15:02

Gcabashe prods Tlhakudi on what caused the decline at Denel. 


18 Mar 14:57

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18 Mar 14:40

Tlhakudi explains that in our government structure, we said that "you'll have a ministry, and you'll have a department..."

Tlhakudi: "The line between the ministry and the department needs to be very clear. At this point, it's not that clear. It's very blurry. The movement, and by virtue of a hierarchy, ministries can easily encroach on the role of a department." 

Tlhakudi says that's one of the weaknesses that we have (in government), "we don't have a founding legislation as a department", which would help lay out the role of a DG in relation to a minister.



18 Mar 14:28

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Zondo says "we would like to see as many people as possible who stood up. We also want to look at the reality that people may have been faced with".


18 Mar 14:21

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18 Mar 14:08

Back after lunch, Tlhakudi continues with his testimony.


18 Mar 13:07

Before Gcabashe can proceed with her next line of questioning, Zondo calls for the lunch adjournment. 

Back at 14:00.


18 Mar 13:06

Tlhakudi explains the need for people with different skills and fields of expertise among board members, from accountants, to engineers, and people with military backgrounds, especially at Denel.


18 Mar 12:59

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18 Mar 12:54

Tlhakudi says around the time that Mantsha had become chairperson, he had been back on the roll. Tlhakudi says Mantsha had no significant board experience, which was quite concerning.


18 Mar 12:50

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