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Parly: SAA resignations regrettable

Oct 09 2012 17:28

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Johannesburg - The resignation of the CEO and two senior managers at SA Airways was regrettable, Parliament's portfolio committee on public enterprises said on Tuesday.

"[CEO Siza] Mzimela's departure follows that of seven board members, including the chairperson, Ms Cheryl Carolus," the committee said in a statement.

However, committee chairman Peter Maluleka said he had confidence in the current executive of SAA.

"The new board and existing management of the national carrier have the responsibility to ensure that SAA stays in the skies," he said.

Maluleka said SAA remained a government entity and would not be privatised.

"... the committee will play an active role in executing its oversight function over the company."

Mzimela and two other senior managers, corporate affairs general manager Theuns Potgieter, and general manager for legal, risk and compliance Sandra Coetzee, resigned from the airline this week.

This came barely two weeks after most of the board -- including chairwoman Cheryl Carolus -- also quit, saying there was a lack of support from its shareholder, the public enterprises department.

ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said he fully supported the endeavours being employed by Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba to strengthen state-owned entities.

Motshekga said he had noted the resignations at SAA.

"What is curious about these developments is that the terms of the majority of board members who resigned were, in any event, due to expire in a matter of few weeks," he said in a statement.

"The resignations by the CEO and few of her executives also comes at the time when SAA is expected to report a R1.25bn loss for the year ended March 31, when it holds its annual general meeting next week."

Motshekga said perceptions had been created that there had been undue influence or pressure being exerted on SAA board members and staff.

"Boards and staff should join forces with government to ensure stability and growth rather than create false impressions of interference and destabilise the work of the entity... The Ministry must not be deterred by this storm in the teacup," he said.

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