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 All Executive Management (EXCO) members within the company operate at a strategic level and are responsible for communicating Denel Aeronautics’ strategic directives to their respective teams, who will then assist Management to realise the company’s strategic objectives at operational level. Exco members report such business progressions to steering committees, business forums and the CEO.

To help put the operational teams in a position to implement and realise Management’s strategic objectives, it is important that these teams know who the newly formed Exco team at Denel Aeronautics is, and to highlight Management’s leadership competencies in order to instill trust. These are thus the Exco members of Denel Aeronautics:

Mike Kgobe

Chief Executive Officer

Mike started his career as an Aircraft Engineer and Maintenance Planner in 1990. He joined Denel Aviation in 2000 as a Planning Engineer. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2008 before his appointment as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2010.

As CEO, he oversaw rapid growth in the company's activities and business across Africa and South America, and in 2017, Mike accepted the appointment of CEO of Denel Aeronautics after the consolidation of the Denel divisions Aerostructures and Aviation.

This CEO holds a Master degree in Aeronautical Maintenance and Production from Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Ingénieurs de Constructions Aéronautiques (ENSICA and now ISAE) in Toulouse, France. In addition to his Engineering qualifications, and qualifications earned at the United Kingdom’s Air Technical College and the City and Guilds of London Institute, he also completed the Executive Leadership Programme at the University of South Africa's Graduate School of Business Leadership.

Abdul Carim
Chief Financial Officer 

Abdul holds a BCom, and BAcc degrees and is a registered Chartered Accountant (CA SA) with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Abdul brings with him significant experience of over 28 years into this role, all of which has been in the Finance field. He gained his experience working at SAB as Cost and Management Accountant, the Limpopo Department of Education as CFO (Deputy Director General), the Independent Development Trust (a unit of the then department of Public Works) as CFO. During his tenure within the Denel Group, Abdul has also served as Executive Director of Denel Aerostructures SOC Ltd and subsequently as Non-Executive Director. Abdul also serves as Non-Executive Chairman of Densecure SOC Ltd.

Thivian Vadivelu
Executive Manager: Commercial

Thivian drives all programmes currently underway at Denel Aeronautics. He oversees the implementation of the company’s long-term business plan and has to ensure that the business remains profitable. The Business Contribution, Quality, Delivery and Customer Relationship Development performance areas form part of his portfolio. 

Thivian holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Mechanical Engineering which he obtained from the University of the Witwatersrand. He has also completed the Denel Executive Leadership Programme through the Henley Business School.

Alan Robertson

Executive Manager: Repair & Overhaul Workshops

Alan holds numerous qualifications including a Post-Graduate Certificate in Management from the Henley Business School; a National Technical Diploma; N4, N5 & N6 certificates and an Airline Industry Executive Seminar certificate. With these, he completed a Leadership Development Programme at SAA; the Finance for Non-Financial Managers Course (GIBS and SAA); an Aircraft Maintenance & Reliability Course (Florida, USA); and a Project Leading course.

This colleague has more than 31 years’ experience in the Aerospace Industry and progressed from a fully qualified Aircraft MRO Technician to a Senior Manager for various departments that included activities relating to mechanical workshops, production, planning, material controls and all maintenance actions. He worked as Senior Manager of the Maintenance Control Centre overseeing all activities at SAA Technical. Before joining Denel Aerostructures, Alan had a staff complement of over 800 employees that reported into him and oversaw that up to 11 major checks were carried out concurrently. Managing complexity and high pressure on-time deliveries is thus his forte.

As a leader, Alan firmly believes that its employees are the heart of a company. He has witnessed first-hand how teams continually strive to find better ways of working to maximise efficiency and ensure cost effectiveness. In the process of manufacturing parts and spares to the highest quality standards whilst still complying with all customer scheduled demands, it remains necessary for all involved to prescribe to health, safety and environmental regulations and Alan is totally confident that Denel Aerostructures will continue to live up to this high standard in the future. 

Khalatse Marobela

Executive Manager: Legal Compliance Services

Khalatse holds a Baccalaureus Procurationis (B. Proc.) and a Legum Baccalaureus (LL.B.) from the Universities of the North and Witwatersrand respectively. He completed his Articles with Matlala Attorneys Inc. in Pretoria and has been admitted as an Attorney by the Supreme Court of South Africa.

In past endeavours, Khalatse gained experience at SASOL, ESKOM, ACSA, SACAA and the Polokwane International Airport in fields covering Procurement, Civil Aviation Regulation, Legal Advisory and Airport Management Services. He was appointed by the Minister of Transport as Chairperson of the International Air Services Council responsible for the Economic Regulation of International Air Services and served in this capacity from June 2008 to November 2015. He was part of the South African legal team that participated in the negotiations, drafting and adoption of the Cape Town Convention on International Interest in Mobile Equipment and Protocol under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Khalatse has extensive executive management experience specifically with regard to Economic, Safety and Security Regulation, matters relating to Maintenance & Repair organisational environments, as well as the management of Legal, Human Resources and Company Secretariat Services. He looks forward to being of service to the aviation community and the people of South Africa as part of a visionary leadership team that is transforming Denel “from a good corporate citizen to a great corporate citizen”.

Natasha Paulse

Executive Manager: Human Capital and Development (Acting)

Natasha Paulse holds a BA Honours Degree obtained through the University of Cape Town and has also completed a Management Development Programme (NQF 6) with the University of Stellenbosch. In 2012 she won the Director’s Award for Best Student at the University of Stellenbosch Business School. She has extensive experience in Human Resources, Development and Transformation obtained from the Retail and Aviation industries.

She is currently leading a team of HR professionals across Denel Aeronautics, responsible for conceptualising, implementing and monitoring the Human Capital & Development strategies for Denel Aeronautics in line with the divisional corporate plans and the overall Denel Group Strategic Imperatives. Part of her responsibilities includes oversight of the Denel Technical Academy and Corporate Social Involvement initiatives within Marketing.

Her key competencies are, but not limited to Strategic Thinking, Strong Business Acumen, Relationship Building at all levels, Aligning Performance for Success, Decision Making, Facilitating Change, Information Monitoring, Ownership, Planning & Organising, Influencing, Results Orientated, Technical Knowledge and Gaining Commitment.

She has achieved a great deal in her professional experience executing major company projects with good and positive outcomes.

Dean Khumalo

Executive Manager: Aircraft Base Maintenance & Upgrades

Dean joined Denel Aviation in 2013 as Executive Manager MRO Operations. After qualifying through an apprenticeship in 1995, he became a Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AMEL) in the aircraft airframes and engines fitter trade.

Amongst various other educational credentials, Dean holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Regenesis Business School; a Master degree relating to aviation safety and specialising in aircraft airworthiness from Ecole Nacional De L'Aviation Civile (ENAC) in Toulouse France; a Senior Management in Civil Aviation diploma from the Singapore Aviation Academy; and a Management Advancement Programme (MAP) certificate from the University of Witwatersrand Business School.

Dean possesses a considerable amount of experience particularly in the area of aircraft maintenance management in the civil aviation sector and has plied his trade at SA Airlink and SA Express. He has also worked in the civil aviation regulatory environment where he spent more than 10 years with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) responsible for aircraft airworthiness and aircraft maintenance organisation compliances.

Through his responsibilities at Denel, he is building up a sound profile in the military aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) environment.

Shalan Chetty
Executive Manager: Engineering & Continued Airworthiness

Shalan has many years’ experience in the Defence Force Sector after starting his career as an Engineer at Armscor in 1996. During the 11 years that followed, he progressed to Mechanical Systems Engineer and Programme Manager. He joined Denel Aviation in 2007 as the Executive Manager Quality and in 2011 was promoted to the position of Executive Manager Engineering & Flight Operations.

Shalan is a registered professional Engineer with ECSA and has attained a Master degree in Aviation Safety, a B.Sc. Eng. (Mech.); a Programme Management certificate; and a Denel Executive Leadership Development Programme certificate.

Mante Phakathi
Executive Manager: Safety, Health, Environment Risk & Quality

Mante brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in process engineering, quality and operations management. She joined Denel Aerostructures as a Process Engineer in 2008 and was appointed as Manager Materials Technology in 2010. She gained extensive maintenance repair and overhaul experience during her employment at Turbomeca Africa. She re-joined Denel in 2017 as Facility Manager of Special Processes. 

Mante holds a graduate diploma in Chemical Engineering, a postgraduate qualification in Quality (Bachelor of Technology: Quality) and a Management Development Program Certificate from Unisa SBL.

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