Here we have another prime example of how ‘Black Economic Empowerment’ has taken a thriving, functional corporation, and turned it into a money-machine for the benefit of the top elite, --- at taxpayers expense! Thank goodness we still have the Democratic Alliance who seem to be monitoring and exposing the treachery. Wouldn’t it be great though if this fraud could be stopped BEFORE it happens?
The Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR) was officially established in 1968, primarily in response to the international sanctions by the United Nations that began in 1963 and were formalized in 1967.
Current information available online will normally highlight the fact that, ARMSCOR continued to flourish into a huge corporation during the 1970’s, despite facing an ever-tightening United Nations arms embargo. In other words, the harsh, cruel and arrogant Apartheid Regime ignored the entire world and continued to develop their own vast military, industrial and technological empire. The true reasons why South Africa was forced to do this, is slowly but surely fading from the history books and online resources. That the country was surrounded at that time by Soviet-backed military forces threatening to invade the country at any moment, has become an irrelevant and worthless piece of detail. When the superpowers in Britain and the USA refused to assist in the heat of the moment, the Boers made their own weapons and sent 1000’s of their own teenage sons off to battle.
I was 19-years old when our neighbouring country Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), fell to the Marxists when the mass murderer and rapist, Robert Mugabe, won the elections on 4 March 1980. By then South Africa was already in an extremely vulnerable position, surrounded by three Marxist states that could be used as springboards for guerrilla attacks by the ANC terrorists. In fact, it was hardly four months after Moegoe Gabe took charge of matters in Zimbaboon, that the ANC's military cowards, Umkhonto We Sizwe, attacked SASOL, a large petroleum-from-coal installation in the province of the Orange Free State. This happened in early June 1980, --- but I can still clearly recall those freezing winter nights manning roadblocks in and around Soweto. No one told me back then, that the thick black smoke visible over Southern Johannesburg and Soweto was in fact due to the massive explosion at SASOL.
Today, ARMSCOR no longer manufactures armaments. They now exist to meet the acquisition, maintenance and disposal needs of the South African Department of Defence. Their other prime function is to squander vast amounts of taxpayers money, by approving tenders to their BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) partners, by going on extravagant overseas trips with family and top brass in the military, and by sitting in lengthy meetings discussing their next pay increases and bonuses.
89 PERCENT INCREASE IN SALARY?
The Armscor 2008/2009 annual report revealed that Sipho Thomo received a salary increase from R1.22 million to R1.45 million and a benefit increase from R108 624 to R 1 391 395. That is a total increase in remuneration from R1.7 million to R3.27 million, which amount to an increase in 89%, in the 2008/2009 financial year. Source
…. and when management at Armscor tried to fire Sipho because he lacked leadership, he refused to resign!
Sipho was required to undergo counselling for his management style as well as a disciplinary hearing in relation to a sexual harassment case which cost the taxpayer more than R1.8 million to resolve. He also caused a virtual "revolt" by senior managers who accused him of creating a "general atmosphere of intimidation and victimisation".
ARMSCOR EXEC - FAT CATS!
The Democratic Alliance wants Armscor to account for splurging more than R3 million on luxury hotels and first-and business-class air tickets "like Fortune 500 fat cats" to attend international defence shows while complaining to the Treasury about insufficient funds to carry out its mandate.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question by DA defence spokesman David Maynier, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu sent a detailed schedule of trips.
It details visits to Malaysia, France, Qatar, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Britain as well as journeys within South Africa between April 2008 and April 2009 - and shows that an SA National Defence Force general and the spouses of Armscor's top brass often tagged along - at Armscor's expense.
"The DA believes it is outrageous for Popo Molefe, chairman of the Armscor board; Sipho Thomo, the suspended chief executive officer, and senior staff to spend nearly three million rands on attending international defence exhibitions all over the world," Maynier said yesterday.
"The top management at Armscor always complain that they do not get enough money from the government.
"But then, rather than tighten their belts, they behave like Fortune 500 fatcats flying first class, inviting spouses and guests along for the ride and staying at five-star hotels," Maynier said.
He pointed out that in Armscor's 2008-2009 annual report, Thomo, who is facing disciplinary charges, complained that Department of Defence transfer payments over the past three years amounted to a decrease in real terms.
Because of that there was "a long-term risk that Armscor may not be able to fulfil its mandate".
Armscor's report showed a net decline in profits of R6.1m and a net loss of about R9m.
This is despite the fact that the government transfer to the entity was more than R50m bigger this year than the last, at R479m, without which Armscor would have been R441.1m in the red at the end of the financial year.
"And yet, in a reply to a parliamentary question, Armscor bosses reveal that they spent nearly R 3 million on attending international arms shows all over the world," said Maynier.
He said R2 902 843 was spent on flights, accommodation, transport as well as money for attending eight defence exhibitions in various locations.
Two of Armscor’s values state: (Taken from their website)
RESULTS DRIVEN - We go that extra mile to achieve results timeously (... and the taxpayer suffers!)
LEADING BY EXAMPLE - We lead by example and are role models for excellence. (Haaaa – What a joke!)