A man cycles past aircraft in the SAA fleet parked at OR Tambo International Airport. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
A man cycles past aircraft in the SAA fleet parked at OR Tambo International Airport. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

State-owned carrier South African Airways (SAA) has confirmed the suspension of the CEO of SAA Technical, Musa Zwane, and SAA chief financial officer Phumeza Nhantsi.

The decision to suspend the two executives is based on certain allegations made against them following the conclusion of one of the forensic investigations at SAA, airline spokesperson Tlali Tlali said on Tuesday. SAA’s board has resolved to institute disciplinary proceedings against two executives, he said.

SAA has appointed Nona Sonjani as acting chief financial officer and Wellington Nyuswa as acting CEO of SAA Technical. Their appointment is intended to ensure business continuity following the suspension of the group’s two executives on Monday, Tlali said.

Tlali said the suspended executives were still in the employ of the airline and were presumed innocent. He would not provide details of the charges against the executives.

The suspensions follow a qualified audit report by the auditor-general tabled in Parliament last week. The report found, among other matters, that SAA Technical’s inventory could not be verified and that there were insufficient controls in place to manage the inventory.

It found also that SAA group’s assets were not being recorded in financial statements, while the existence of some assets recorded could not be verified.

The report said there were glaring accounting irregularities on maintenance costs and that incorrect exchange rates had been recorded. It found that SAA group had not established controls to maintain complete records of irregular expenditure and wasteful expenditure.