DA calls for SAA chief's immediate resignation

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling for the immediate resignation of Khaya Ngqula, the chief executive of South African Airways (SAA).

Noting reports in the Sunday Times this weekend that Ngqula was under investigation after the airline had awarded a R3,5-billion catering contract to one of his business partners, Manie van Dyk who speaks for the DA on public enterprises, said: “We have in the past repeatedly called for a forensic audit of SAA’s affairs.

“Now that the deaf ears of Minister Alec Erwin have been replaced by Brigitte Mabandla, we once again call on the new minister to conduct a full forensic audit on the finances of SAA at all levels of management.”

Van Dyk lists a number of allegations against Ngqula which he ascribes to the chief executive’s incompetence.

They include, he said, billion-rand losses in four of the past six years; the retrenchment of 1 192 employees; the resignation of 53 pilots and 217 technicians; and the controversial retention bonuses paid out to select managers.

“Despite losing more than R16,6-billion since 2002 [which has cost the taxpaying public more than R8,9-billion in handouts], Mr Ngqula remains in his position and continues to receive retention bonuses despite being wholly ineligible for performance bonuses.

“His hubris extends to his consistent snubbing of Parliament’s oversight role. Despite fielding a further R1,9-billion loss in 2008, Mr Ngqula and his management team were unable to find the time to report to the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises last year.”—I-Net Bridge