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SAA BRPs criticised for drawn out process as retrenchment judgment reserved

Judgment has been reserved in the appeal case between the South African Airways (SAA) business rescue practitioners (BRP) and three workers' unions.

FILE: SAA planes. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Judgement has been reserved in the appeal case between the South African Airways (SAA) business rescue practitioners (BRP) and three workers' unions.

The business rescue practitioners have appealed a judgment stating that planned retrenchments cannot happen at SAA without a business rescue plan in place.

The BRPs, however, appealed this decision at the Labour Appeals Court, saying that time was against them and SAA did not have money.

Judge Dennis Davis has been presiding over the contentious matter between the business rescue practitioners and unions, Numsa, the SA Cabin Crew Association and the South African Airways Pilots' Association.

Judge Davis said that he had never seen “anything like this”, chastising the practitioners for allowing the proceedings to go on for over six months.

By law, this process should not run for more than three months.

Lawyer for the unions, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, argued that the practitioners could not be allowed to fire people at the embattled airline as they had not fulfilled their mandate despite being paid R30 million.

Meanwhile, Advocate Andrew Redding for the BRPs said that cash flow was a huge concern and if a deal was not accepted next month, they would be forced to liquidate the airline.

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