Publication: News24 Issued: Date: 2002-07-29 Reporter:

Defence Gets a New Boss




Date 2002-07-29


Jimmy Seepe

Web Link,6119,2-7-829_1220846,00.html


Pretoria - Bruce Ramfolo has been appointed the defence department's new acquisitions chief to replace Shamin "Chippy" Shaik, who resigned earlier this year. Announcing the appointment, defence secretary January Masilela said it took effect on July 15.

Ramfolo managed the acquisition of corvettes for the navy as part of the government's multibillion-rand arms deal.

He was introduced to the defence industry when he worked on army projects at Armscor's corporate logistics division as senior project engineer.

His educational qualifications include a bachelor of science and master of science degrees from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University - both in industrial and systems engineering.

He also holds an MBA degree from the University of Pretoria.

Shaik announced his resignation in March this year, with effect from May 1.

This followed an inquiry which found him guilty of misconduct for disclosing confidential information contained in an auditor-general draft report on the arms deal. The report was critical of his involvement in the deal.

Banned from the buildings

Shaik was given a final written warning and his suspension was lifted.

Lekota suspended Shaik with full pay in November last year pending the outcome of the inquiry, and banned him from setting foot in any military installation or headquarters.

The draft auditor-general report was handed to Lekota late last year. The minister then instructed his legal advisor to give the report to Shaik for comment.

The misconduct charges arose from Shaik passing the document on to his lawyers, who took up the issue with the auditor-general.

Shaik's brother, Schabir, was arrested in November last year and charged with the theft of cabinet documents, including minutes containing information on the arms deal.

Schabir Shaik's black empowerment company, Nkobi Holdings, owned shares in Thales International - the company which will provide systems for the navy's four new corvettes.

With acknowledgement to News24.