Ex-SAA board member Kwinana proud of decision to cancel R85m food tender

Kwinana is expected to continue her testimony at the state capture commission on Tuesday morning.

A screengrab of former SAA board member Yakhe Kwinana appearing at the state capture inquiry in Johannesburg on 2 November 2020. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African Airways (SAA) board member Yakhe Kwinana said she was proud that she was part of the board that cancelled an R85 million tender that had been awarded to LSG Sky Chefs and handed it to Air Chefs without an open tender.

Kwinana is expected to continue her testimony at the state capture commission on Tuesday morning.

On Monday, a visibly frustrated Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo repeatedly asked Kwinana to answer questions and pressed her on oversight issues around crucial contracts.

“She will ask you about the decision. Ms Kwinana, I control what happens here. You are not going to answer that now, you will answer when she asks. Do you remember or not?” Zondo asked.

Kwinana responded: “There is no way I wouldn’t remember, it’s one of the best decisions I made at SAA.”

Acting SAA CEO Thuli Mpshe told the board that the food provided by Air Chefs had deteriorated and dented SAA’s image.

So, the airline went to tender and appointed LSG Sky Chefs. But the board cancelled the award and gave the R85 million tender back to Air Chefs.

Kwinana gave a bizarre comparison and explanation of why the tender was given back to Air Chefs: “When I make this example of this LSG Sky Chefs is, if my daughter is selling fat cakes here at home why would I buy them next door and not tell her that I don’t like your fat cakes, correct here and there? The reason I say it was irregular is because it should not have happened because it would be the same with SAA Technical, we would be seeing aeroplanes fixed elsewhere.”

Kwinana told Zondo that she won’t forget that deal because she’s very proud of the outcome.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.