Union wants SAA pilots' head suspended over sabotage claims

Captain John Harty is accused of being part of a plot to bring down a plane being flown by a black pilot.

FILE: Satawu wants the head of the South African Airways (SAA) Pilots Association suspended. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) wants the head of the South African Airways (SAA) Pilots Association suspended amid allegations of sabotage.

Captain John Harty has been accused of being part of a plot to bring down a plane flown by a black pilot.

Harty has been questioned by the Hawks about the allegations, which he has described as absurd.

Satawu's Nicholas Maziya says Harty must vacate his post amid the allegation of sabotage.

"Strong action must be taken, he's supposed to be suspended by that institution."

Harty says Hawks investigators told him they had intelligence that certain pilots had attempted to recruit SAA technicians to tamper with the rudder system of a plane.

He says he was told the alleged plot was aimed at discrediting the black pilot who would be flying the plane.

Meanwhile, Satawu's also called on President Jacob Zuma to assume an oversight role in the running the parastatal.