Former SAA executive denies spying allegations


Former SAA executive Vuyo Tuku has vehemently denied allegations in a report in the Mail & Guardian last year that he had been suspended from the organisation “amidst allegations of spying”, and for “refusing to give up his ‘free’ business class seat on an international flight to paying customer”.

Tuku said he found the allegations, “particularly that of spying”, extremely damaging.

The article (“SAA executive accused of spying”, September 6 2019), he said, alleges that he was “caught on closed circuit cameras at Airways Park in the OR Tambo International Airport precinct sharing sensitive company information”.

“I would not know whether indeed I was being tracked in this manner and for what reasons, but given the subsequent events of my suspension by SAA, I would not be surprised,” Tuku said.

He said the allegations that he was ever accused of “spying of any kind by SAA are blatantly untrue and fake. It was a deliberate attempt to damage my reputation and cause me personal professional harm.

“I have never been accused of spying – whether by SAA or any other entity or organisation. I first heard of the allegations when I read the Mail & Guardian article, but as I had not received the charges levelled against me by SAA, I waited until this had been done.”

Tuku added that when the charges were formally emailed to him, there was no mention of spying.

He stated that he joined SAA as a manager in Group chief executive Vuyani Jarana’s office to “help support the CEO in the transformation of SAA and the execution of the company’s long term turnaround plan”.

“I was also involved in various cross-functional initiatives where I was increasingly seen as stepping on toes and crossing functional lines, which probably led to many being disgruntled with me.”

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Joe Latakgomo
Joe Latakgomo, a veteran journalist with more than 50 years’ experience within journalism and media industry, is the public advocate at the Press Council of South Africa

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