Monhla Hlahla, chairwoman of the Denel board, is accompanying President Cyril Ramaphosa on a state visit to India, hoping to sign deals or agree new joint ventures which would help it emerge from severe financial difficulties. Denel has been plagued by years of mismanagement and exposure to a far-reaching influence-peddling scandal that led some lenders to cut off financing. It recorded a $125 million loss in the latest financial year. A potential saviour emerged when Saudi Arabia made a $1 billion bid for a broad partnership with Denel. But SA officials turned cool on the Saudi offer after the Gulf kingdom drew criticism over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October, diplomatic and defence sources have told Reuters. “The chairperson of Denel is part of the business delegation that is accompanying the president because Denel has an interest in that market,” Denel spokeswoman Vuyelwa Qinga said in response to a question about whether Den...

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