Denel Group CEO steps down under a cloud

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The group chief executive officer of defense manufacturing company Denel, Zwelakhe Ntshepe, has stepped down from his position with immediate effect.

The Denel board on Tuesday issued a statement confirming its acceptance of the GCEO’s resignation.

Ntshepe had been with the company for 20 years. Six months ago, he was appointed to the GCEO position after fulfilling the role in an acting capacity for two years.

Monhla Hlahla, chairperson of the board, thanked Ntshepe for this contribution to the company over the years.

Ntshepe cited personal reasons for his resignation. The 20-year veteran, however, has found himself under a cloud, as allegations recently surfaced in the media that he had awarded embattled North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s son a R1-million bursary.

Ntshepe has been replaced in the interim by chief executive of Denel Aeronautics, Michael Kgobe.

Kgobe is credited with “overseeing the successful turnaround and diversification of the division and its rapid growth into being one of the best performing divisions within the Denel Group,” a statement said.

Kgobe was tasked with consolidating Denel Aerostructures (SOC) Ltd and Denel Aviation into a single operating division in September 2016. It has since become known as Denel Aeronautics and has a reported consolidated revenue of R1.6-billion in 2016/17 and a staff complement of 952 employees.

Hlahla further assured employees, suppliers, customers and stakeholders that the board was focused on ” a turnaround that will deal with the current liquidity and performance issues in the company”.

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