Johannesburg - SAA is suing its former CEO Khaya Ngqula for R30.8m, and is considering how to recover R141m in misspent sponsorship money.
This comes after the findings of a KPMG forensic report findings on the airline were disclosed on Tuesday.
The R15m report, which exposed a number of operating deficiencies in the airline, was welcomed by the current chairperson Cheryl Carolus.
The R30.8m includes R27m Ngqula paid executives as retention bonuses. He was not authorised to do so. This amount was outside the board-approved mandate for payments, and Ngqula had consequently acted illegally by approving it.
SAA is considering further steps against Ngqula regarding two sports sponsorships he approved between 2006 and 2009. One was R21m for Angel Cabrera, an international golf player, and the other one R120m for the ATP tennis tour.
Ngqula could approve sponsorships of between R1m and R2m a year at most, said Carolus.
She said Ngqula had had time to react to the findings, but had not cooperated.
The SAA legal team would now advise the airline on the recoverability of the sponsorship monies.
The investigation into Ngqula began after one of SAA's trade unions, Satawu, handed information to Brigitte Mabandla, who was minister of public enterprise at the time.
Satawu general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu said the investigation had shown that the union was in the right.
Mahlangu said SAA should be lauded for the steps it had taken.
To put a stop to the financial plundering so rampant among the executives of state-controlled companies, there should be clear and serious consequences if they are found out. SAA's actions could prevent future mismanagement, said Mahlangu.
The SAA board will present its report to parliament.