SAA suspends treasurer amid management turmoil | Fin24
 
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SAA suspends treasurer amid management turmoil

Jul 13 2016 11:47
Tshepiso Mokhema

Johannesburg - South African Airways suspended Treasurer Cynthia Stimpel pending an investigation into a misconduct charge, the latest in a wave of disciplinary proceedings that have caused management upheaval at the unprofitable state-owned carrier.

Stimpel’s actions amount to a “breach of SAA’s code of ethics and conduct,” spokesperson Tlali Tlali said in emailed comments on Wednesday, without giving further detail about the charge. The Treasurer has been “suspended and not dismissed,” he said.

Stimpel had objected to SAA’s decision to award Johannesburg-based BnP Capital a contract to advise on the restructuring of R15bn of debt, Business Day newspaper reported on July 7, citing an email she sent to acting Chief Financial Officer Phumeza Nhantsi.

The arrangement will see BnP paid a success fee of R256m, about three times what the airline’s treasury had estimated, according to the newspaper.

SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni, an associate of President Jacob Zuma, was among board members who voted to hire BnP without a tender, civil rights body Outa revealed this week.

READ: Outa unveils shocking facts about SAA contractor

Stimpel’s suspension “has nothing whatsoever to do with objections she is alleged to have made on the BnP Capital matter,” Tlali said.

SAA, which is surviving on government-guaranteed loans, has this year suspended former acting Chief Executive Officer Thuli Mpshe and put acting Chief Procurement Officer Masimba Dahwa on special leave.

Other recent management changes include the departure of CFO Wolf Meyer, who was replaced on an acting basis by Nhantsi, and Chief Strategy Officer Barry Parsons. Musa Zwane, the head of SAA’s maintenance unit, was named acting CEO in November.

READ: Bank employee suspended in SAA, BnP Capital probe

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