By Pinky Khoabane
ULTIMATELY the rot at South African Airways (SAA) was left to the cabin crew to address while the Board did very little. In an unprecedented move, members of the cabin crew, represented by their labour union South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA), held a press conference and thereafter laid charges against the Board and several executives.
The charges include theft and corruption to the tune of R1.8bn. This group of very young and junior employees lodged charges against CEO Musa Zwane, CFO Phumeza Nhantsi, head of operations Zuks Ramasia, general manager of marketing Aaron Munetsi and Kim Thipe.
SACCA took the unprecedented move to lay criminal charges against the executives following forensic and audit reports which have exposed large-scale corruption at the airline. Despite the evidence, the Board and executive management have not been held to account and instead, the union says employees have been receiving SMSes to the effect that they may not be paid their salaries.
The documents circulated to the media last week are damning but it is nothing we at UnCensored haven’t seen already. The question is why the commercial media is so silent on the corruption at SAA. We’ve often made the error of reporting that only 2% of SAA’s procurement spend goes to black companies. As it turns out, the Soros-funded Africa Check, checked and discovered that the spend on black companies was only 1.7%. And the question is why the commercial media, government’s oversight institutions are covering up this corruption.
A forensic audit into operational procurement and the awarding of long term contracts at South African Airways Technical (SAAT), a subsidiary of SAA that maintains the airline’s aircrafts and that of other third party customers including Comair, Rwanda, and Air Namibia, could make you weep.
A summary of the findings of the forensic audit by Open Water Advanced Risk Solutions shows gross deficiencies in the procurement processes.
- None of the tenders were advertised in the Government Tender Bulletin or Tender Portal as per Treasury Regulations
- Tenders were not advertised for the required minimum period as per Treasury regulations
- Bidders generally did not abide to the closing date of the tender and closing days had to be extended
- Members of the CFST (a cross functional support teams that fulfilled the duties of both a Bid Specification and Bid Evaluation Committee) continually communicated with bidders after the bids closed
- Bidders were allowed to amend pricing after the bids closed
- The CFST lacked the skills and expertise to perform pricing evaluations during tenders. The calculation of prices offered was mostly done by Mr Robberste and or Ms Fallet.
- Contracts were continuously extended over a period of time contrary to PFMA and Treasury Regulations. Contract with AirFrance for example, was extended for more that three years since May 2013 to July 2016
- The forensic found the AirFrance contract to be irregular in many respects and found Robberste to have manipulated pricing
- Some of the tenderers influenced the bidding process.
- The audit reports shows how despite Lufthansa Airways having scored the highest evaluation in one tender, Robberste manipulated the figures to put AFI as the highest scorer.
- The Board on 6 May 2016 resolved, by means of round robin, to award AFI the contract for “component support services” on both the Airbus and Boeing Fleet.
- On 7 July 2016 SAAT agreed to pay AAR/JM Aviation an advanced payment contrary to prudent financial management and Treasury Regulations http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/saa-board-orchestrating-strategy-collapse-company-privatised/