Yet another crisis could be brewing at cash-strapped South African Airways (SAA), whose lenders are jittery after the airline’s chief financial officer, Phumeza Nhantsi, was suspended a week ago. Local creditors met the company’s leaders last week and expressed concern about the move on Nhantsi, who was suspended with SAA Technical CEO Musa Zwane. Nhantsi has been an integral part of the airline’s turnaround strategy, having been the lenders’ go-to person in terms of SAA’s financial arrangements. Business Day understands that the local lenders had grown accustomed to Nhantsi, building a relationship of trust with her. Some insiders have told Business Day that her suspension had come at an awkward and crucial time for SAA. The airline can ill-afford a situation similar to what happened in 2017, when two of its major lenders, Standard Chartered and Citibank, recalled loans because of governance concerns. The Treasury was forced to step in and bail out SAA. The local lenders had been w...

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