Denel ‘bends rules’ to give Mahumapelo’s son a R1.1m bursary – report

Former North West Premier Supra Mahupapelo. Picture: Supplied

Former North West Premier Supra Mahupapelo. Picture: Supplied

The contract for the bursary was reportedly signed by Denel’s CEO, who has been previously linked to the Guptas.

The son of embattled North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has been studying to be a pilot while on a bursary from state-owned defence company Denel, the City Press reports.

The Sunday paper says it has seen the bursary contract between Supra Oarabile Mahumapelo, 20, and Denel.

The contract for the bursary, worth R1.1 million, was signed by Denel CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe, and the report by City Press notes that Ntshepe has previously been linked to the Guptas, as the senior Mahumapelo also has.

A few rules were allegedly bent to award the bursary to the aspiring pilot. The school the young Mahumapelo is registered to, in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, does not fall under the list of accredited schools the funding covers. Piloting is not included in the subjects the bursary covers. Oarabile’s application was reportedly received past the deadline for the applications.

READ MORE | Open ballot for Mahumapelo motion of no confidence

Denel has described the bursary as ordinary and meant to boost transformation in the aviation industry.

But, just hours after their statement, Denel forwarded communications in which Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan instructed them to retract it.

Gordhan told Afrikaans paper Rapport that the allegations surrounding the bursary were serious and that the new board at the state-owned entity would look into its “questionable” conduct.

Meanwhile, the North West premier faces a motion of no confidence this week as the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters band together to oust him.

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