South Africa's embattled state arms firm appoints interim CEO

Denel on Monday announced the appointment of an interim CEO.
Denel on Monday announced the appointment of an interim CEO.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Embattled state arms manufacturer Denel has appointed Talib Sadik, who currently serves on its board of directors, as interim chief executive, the company said on Monday.

Sadik's appointment comes after Danie du Toit resigned as CEO after less than two years in the job, after Denel struggled to pay staff due to a liquidity crisis aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Du Toit has not given a reason for resigning, but in a recent interview he told Reuters the company may not survive the next few months unless the government lets it use some promised bailout funds to generate revenues rather than repay debt.

Denel, which makes equipment ranging from armoured vehicles to missiles, is embroiled in a dispute with labour unions over outstanding salaries and statutory obligations such as paying into its employee pension fund.

Sadik worked as Denel chief executive between 2008 and 2012 and has worked on the company's latest turnaround plan, Denel said in a statement.

The recruitment process for a permanent CEO is under way.

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