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SAA confirms probe of being supplied with dodgy aircraft parts under way

The national carrier said the probe was launched after it received information that some individuals, including senior executives, were involved in acts of criminality.

Picture: South African Airways

JOHANNESBURG - South African Airways (SAA) has on Sunday confirmed it had launched an investigation into a suspected crime syndicate that has looted millions of rands through questionable tenders in the procurement of aircraft parts.

The national carrier said the probe was launched after it received information that some individuals, including senior executives, were involved in acts of criminality.

It said the investigation would also look into whether the airline had been supplied with dodgy parts that failed to meet industry standards.

SAA's Tlali Tlali explained: “Proper parts that meet the standards of the OMEs and as well as whether or not we get extra value for our money and if we were able to procure the parts in line with the value market if we were to procure them elsewhere.”

According to the Sunday Times, SAA and Hawks sources said those who were being investigated included US and French aviation supply and maintenance companies, including staff in the country.

The publication further claimed that it was in possession of a document that revealed that aircrafts parts worth R25 million disappeared from SAA technical stores while forensic investigators were finalising their report. The memorandum reportedly said the missing parts showed that this was an inside job.

This financial scandal comes amid an investigation of what caused a Mango Boeing to nosedive during a flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town, the Sunday newspaper reported.

Earlier this year, SOE’s board requested R4 billion to stay afloat this financial year after failing to make a profit since 2011.

SAA borrowed R3.5 billion on top of a R14 billion initial loan. Of that, R9 billion as well as the R3.5 billion was due to be paid by the end of March 2019. The airline has had bailouts of over R15 billion in the last two years.