“The decision by the Department of Public Enterprises to suddenly appoint a new board to SAA  “stinks of corruption”

Business Politics

Tebogo Msimanga |

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA)says it has noted the press statement issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) where they announce the new board members of South African Airways (SAA).

NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim said DPE statement was released shortly after NUMSA released a statement, exposing Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan for secretly firing the old board of SAA on the 14th of April, and replacing them with new board members. “Their statement was a shoddy attempt to legitimize and illegitimate process. This proves that NUMSA was right to question the motives of Minister Gordhan”.

Jim said the last SAA audited report ending March 2017 says that SAA’s total assets were valued at R14 594 billion, but it is currently valued at R3 billion. “What happened to all of SAA’s assets? Either these assets were disposed of by the business rescue practitioner, or by Gordhan and the DPE but we do not know because there are no financial statements”.

Jim further questioned why was the board removed in the middle of an audit which is taking place at SAA? “Why didn’t DPE wait a few weeks for the auditing process of the Auditor General to be completed, which would have been in a few weeks, why the rush to do it now?”

He added that it is their view that SAA is in a better state than they want to admit and this may show in the financial statements

Jim added that SAA exists because of an act of parliament, and yet, the entire process of appointing Takatso remains shrouded in mystery because Gordhan refuses to disclose to the public, or to parliament, how he decided that Takatso were the right organisation to choose as an equity partner. “Gordhan has not disclosed the ‘due diligence’ process on how Takatso was chosen, we are simply expected to take his word for it that proper processes were followed when they were clearly not followed”.

He said the ANC government must also explain what is so special about Gordhan that he must be allowed to stay on as minister, even in the face of such breath-taking failure. “Gordhan has single-handedly destroyed our SOE’s and he has not suffered any consequences for gross mismanagement. SAA, Denel, SA Express and Eskom have all collapsed under his leadership but there are no consequences for him – Why?”

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