SAA mum on Kona suspension

SAA says it cannot comment on Vuyisile Kona’s suspension as its investigation continues.

South African Airways is without a permanent CEO. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - South African Airways (SAA)'s board remained silent on the recent suspension of its acting CEO Vuyisile Kona.

Kona was placed on precautionary suspension several days ago.

Airline officials briefed parliamentarians on the state parastatal.

The National Carrier's board was also grilled on why Kona was suddenly suspended.

The airline's new acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said, "I think the matter is being handled on a board level so I can't elaborate on that."

Democratic Alliance Parliamentarian Natasha Michael said Kona was suspended with full pay.

"I eagerly await the outcome of the investigation to see exactly what the allegations are. A suspension means that these allegations were serious and justifiable."

Kona was allegedly suspended because he went over the heads of his superiors and complained to President Jacob Zuma about the SAA board.

Kona was appointed in October last year to head up the embattled airline.

He replaced Siza Mzimela, who cited a breakdown in the relationship with government as the reason for her resignation.

The suspension of Kona was allegedly due to his increasingly bad relationship with the board of the airline.

It is understood the board was concerned that Kona negotiated long-term fuel deals, which he was not supposed to do in his acting capacity.

The board was also suspicious of his relationship with the new union for airline workers, the National Transport Movement, which organised a crippling strike at the airline a few weeks ago.