SAA CEO resigns

Eyewitness News understands that SAA CEO Siza Mzimela has stepped down.

Former SAA CEO Siza Mzimela. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News has learnt that South African Airways (SAA) CEO Siza Mzimela has resigned.

Mzimela's resignation comes a week after the airline's chairperson Cheryl Corolus and six board members stepped down citing lack of support from the Department of Public Enterprises.

Days later, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba announced a R5 billion guarantee for the national carrier.

The loan guarantee was granted on condition that the board develops a turnaround strategy by January.

Mzimela sent an email to staff just after 11am on Monday to inform them of her resignation. Eyewitness News is in possession of the email.

Mzimela said it is with a mix of sadness, relief and a measure of pride that she is announcing her resignation.

She said it is not a random move but one that is a carefully thought out decision.

But she added that there has not always been a uniform understanding and appreciation of the airline's mandate from stakeholders and this bred a myriad of challenges.

Mzimela thanked the outgoing board for their wise counsel, saying that she identified with the sentiments some of them expressed towards the end of their mission.

But Mzimela will stay on as CEO until a new board is ushered in.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said the company will issue a statement shortly putting all rumours and speculation to rest.

To read Mzimela's farewell letter to employees, click here