Outa lays charges against Denel’s Mantsha

01 September 2017 - 14:25 By Genevieve Quintal
Image: Supplied by the Denel Group

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has laid corruption charges against Dan Mantsha‚ the chairman of state-owned arms manufacturer Denel‚ for his alleged involvement in state capture.

Mantsha fed sensitive and classified company information to the Gupta family and forwarded the family some of his personal bills‚ according to a tranche of leaked emails.

The information related to a joint venture between Denel Asia — a subsidiary established by Denel — and Hong Kong registered company VR Laser Asia.

VR Laser Asia is owned by Gupta associate Salim Essa.

The venture was never approved by the Treasury and was the subject of a court application by Denel‚ which wanted the court to force the Treasury to give it the go-ahead.

But last month Denel announced it was exiting Denel Asia‚ its 51% partnership with Gupta linked VR Laser Asia. It cited reputational damage “both locally and internationally” caused by “negative attention from the media”.

Denel also said it was withdrawing from the court application.

Denel’s acting chief executive‚ Zwelakhe Ntshepe‚ has continued to deny its partnership was with the Guptas‚ arguing that VR Laser Asia is wholly owned by Essa and not directly by the Gupta family.

Outa opened the case against Mantsha at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria on Wednesday.

“Dan Mantsha sold out his country to pay his municipal bill‚” said Ben Theron‚ Outa’s chief operating officer.

“He tried to give the Guptas access to South Africa’s defence technology business‚ thereby handing them billions of dollars in lucrative deals. He shared confidential government documents with the Guptas and took favours from them in trips to India and Dubai.”

Theron questioned why Mantsha was allowed to continue to hold his position as Denel board chairman‚ saying Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown should fire him.

Mantsha was appointed as chairman and non-executive director of Denel on July 24 2014.

Leaked Gupta emails show that Mantsha’s contact with the controversial family began soon after his appointment to the Denel board.