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Bring back purged SAA execs, Outa urges Gordhan

Jul 27 2016 09:14
Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town – Senior executives purged from South African Airways (SAA) are the perfect candidates to breathe new life into the ailing national carrier, according to civil action movement Outa on Wednesday.

This follows Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s call for new blood on SAA’s board and management team on Tuesday.

Gordhan said people with the right skills balance can take the airline’s development upward.

READ: SAA requires a whole new board - Gordhan

Outa, which cliams to have successfully pressurised SAA with a law suit to end its questionable R256m deal with BnP Capital this month, said Gordhan could easily find a new team. They also insisted that the current team must go.

“He need not look too far to find all the talent he needs to get the ailing airline back on track,” Outa said in a statement.

“Over the past few years, SAA has lost a lot of fine talent with considerable airline management experience and it would be wise for Minister Gordhan to bring these very same, relatively young and energised people back to fix the mess and damage created by the current board."

Outa named Wolf Meyer (the past CFO), Nico Bezuidenhout (past acting CEO), Cynthia Stimpel (suspended Group Treasury), Dr Masimba Dahwa (dismissed Chief Procurement Officer), Thuli Mpshe (suspended GM: Human Resources), and Sylvain Bosc (suspended Chief Commercial Officer) as being “extremely talented high ranking leaders”.

READ: SAA’s Myeni wants R50m cancellation fee for BnP - report

Outa said these executives were “purged from the airline through resignation, due to their gross discomfort with the current executive leadership's conduct, or were suspended or dismissed for dubious reasons and / or trumped up charges against them”.

“The common qualities possessed by all of the above mentioned leaders, is their passion to ensure the airline is managed professionally, at low cost and without compromising the quality or integrity of the airline’s institutionalised processes.

“They all still have a passion and desire to see SAA succeed, but obviously will not be able to work under the current guard who have very little airline management experience, and who lack the necessary vision or ability to reduce unnecessary and wasteful expenditure at SAA.

“We urge the minister to call on each and every one of these past leaders and obtain their insights and suggestions for SAA’s success and turn-around strategy.

“If need be, the minister can also look to Cheryl Carolus, a recent past chairperson with impeccable credibility and experience, as well as Russell Loubser, another recent board member at SAA.

“These are the people who have what the minister and the nation requires, along with the energy and passion to make SAA the successful airline it has every potential to be,” said Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: SAA banking tender deferred due to debt consolidation

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