Aerospace and defence technology parastatal Denel says the awarding of a bursary to North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s son, Oarabile, was not done in contravention of the state-owned company’s policy.
In a statement on Tuesday, Denel said it had taken note of various media articles alleging, among other issues, that the group chief executive, Zwelakhe Ntshepe, awarded a bursary to Oarabile Mahumapelo in contravention of Denel’s policy.
“Denel denies these allegations as false. The bursary awarded was made to three students based on the same criteria and/or considerations. Of these awards, only one has attracted the interest of the media.
“The award was made in compliance with Denel’s relevant policy after a full disclosure and presentation to the board of directors of Denel, which was noted without any objection,” said Denel.
On Monday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said it would bring fraud and corruption charges against North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo and Denel CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe following reports that the state-owned enterprise (SOE) had given the premier’s son an R1.1-million bursary to study at a prestigious aviation school in Port Alfred.
The party said if the reports were true Mahumapelo, then Ntshepe would have violated sections 50 and 51 of the Public Finance Management Act.
These dictate that an accounting authority may not abuse a position for personal gain, and is obliged to prevent expenditure that does not comply with the operational policies of a public entity.
The DA has welcomed a directive by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to the Denel board to launch an internal investigation into the matter.
However, the party is of the view that an internal probe will not be sufficient and that a criminal investigation into this possible abuse public money should be instituted.
– additional reporting by ANA
ALSO READ: Ramaphosa appoints Trudi Makhaya as economic advisor