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SAA suspends CFO over disciplinary process

CFO Phumeza Nhantsi and the head of the airline’s technical unit Musa Zwane were suspended on Monday.

FILE: A South African Airways flight takes off as another one is parked in a bay on the tarmac at OR Tambo International airport in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - State-owned airline South African Airways (SAA) has suspended indefinitely two officials including its chief financial officer, its spokesman said on Tuesday, over a disciplinary process at the loss-making airline.

CFO Phumeza Nhantsi and the head of the airline’s technical unit Musa Zwane were suspended on Monday, the airline’s spokesman Tlali Tlali said, without giving any reasons behind their suspension.

“It’s an internal matter that is governed by labour relations and we must observe internal processes. We’re not at liberty to give details on that at this stage,” he said.

They will remain suspended “until disciplinary processes have been finalised” he added.

Nhantsi and Zwane could not be reached for comment.

Nhantsi was appointed the airline’s permanent CFO in May last year after having served as an acting CFO since 2015.

The national airline has been relying on government guarantees to keep it solvent and has been cited by major rating agencies as a threat to South Africa’s economy. It received the latest bailout in September.

SAA’s CEO Vuyani Jarana said on Monday in a statement on the airline’s website, the board has developed and approved a five-year plan to turn the struggling airline around.

Losses at the airline are set to widen to R4 billion in 2017/18 from a previous estimate of 2.8 billion, it said in November, piling further pressure on government finances.

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