Denel Asia, Zupta JV hits stonewall – Permit failure

By Jenni Evans

Cape Town – Denel Asia’s problems mounted on Monday after it emerged that it had not applied for a permit to the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said.

Denel AH-2 Rooivalk Attack Helicopters 2“The NCACC would appreciate any evidence or information relating to such an application as this would aid the committee to investigate the matter conclusively,” Radebe said, according to a written reply to a parliamentary question.

The formation of a joint venture between Denel and President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane and Rajesh Gupta’s VR Laser was announced with much fanfare in January.

According to the partnership, the new company, Denel Asia, would be based in Hong Kong, with South Africa’s defence manufacturing company Denel holding 49%.

However, according to the NCACC, no person may trade in conventional arms or render foreign military assistance unless that person is registered with the Chief Directorate Conventional Arms Control and is in possession of a permit authorised by the committee.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has already said the partnership was in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act because Denel had allegedly failed to secure a Section 54 application which allows state-owned companies to launch partnerships and joint ventures.

The Gupta family and its business interests in South Africa have been watched closely lately after claims by a former MP Vytjie Mentor and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas that they were offered ministerial posts by the family.

Duduzane Zuma and Gupta reportedly have a 21% stake in VR Laser through another company. – News24