Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba
should appoint a task team to investigate the numerous allegations of
irregularities at the SA Airways (SAA), the DA said on Sunday.
"We call on Minister Gigaba to appoint a task team to
urgently investigate the alleged irregularities at SAA, and any related matters
that are impeding the airline's functioning, and report back to Parliament on
its findings," Democratic Alliance MPL Natasha Michael said.
"The airline's survival has for far too long depended
on billions of rands of government bailouts. South Africans have a right to
know what is going on with the national carrier, since it is their money that
is keeping it afloat."
The Sunday Times reported that an allegedly doctored legal
opinion by SAA's general manager of legal services Fikile Thabethe led to the
suspension of SAA's acting CEO Vuyisile Kona.
According to the report, the validity of the document was
discussed at an SAA board meeting on Friday, just days after claims surfaced
that the security services had spied on Kona.
Kona was suspended last week, for among others things,
allegedly contravening the Public Finance Management Act when he appointed
three senior consultants.
SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali told the newspaper Kona's
suspension fell within the normal employer-employee relationship.
Michael said the allegation that Thabethe's legal opinion
had been tampered with "fuels the fire of uncertainty" about Kona's
"The DA has twice called for clarity regarding the
issue," she said.
The DA had asked for clarity about Kona's suspension when
the SAA appeared before the public enterprises parliamentary portfolio
committee on Tuesday.
"The board indicated that the matter was under
investigation and that no information could be given. This was a missed
opportunity for the general manager of legal services to raise concerns
regarding the authenticity of her legal opinion," Michael said.
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