Picture: ACSA
Picture: ACSA

The boardroom power struggle at Airports Company SA (Acsa) saw yet another postponement of a directors’ meeting on Monday after a sitting to consider the tenure of CEO Bongani Maseko and other senior officials was once again called off at the last moment.

The postponement of the meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport was precipitated by a dispute over the board membership of former Acsa chairman Roshan Morar, two directors of the state-owned airports operator said on Monday. Acsa confirmed the postponement. The meeting on the same subject has been postponed several times over the past few weeks.

Morar was Acsa chairman until the end of 2017, when his term expired.

Directors Siyakhula Simelane, head of Acsa’s audit and risk committee, and Steve Mabela, a member of the committee, said the meeting could not go ahead because it could not be properly constituted.

They said they had tried to exclude Morar from Monday’s meeting but had failed.

"The meeting could not go ahead in terms of the company’s memorandum of incorporation, so we had to postpone it," said Mabela. "Any decisions it took would have been illegal."

Asked whether a new chairman could be appointed, Mabela said that it was now a matter for the minister.

The Transport Department had not responded at the time of publication.

Morar would neither confirm nor deny that he was still a board member. He said he was not aware of any allegations of irregularities against him. He referred question on his status at Acsa to the department.

Morar’s status at Acsa and that of Maseko is the subject of a campaign by a group of "concerned employees" to see Maseko disciplined by the company and Morar removed.

The employees have provided copies of e-mailed letters to the Presidency, the transport and finance departments, and the public protector, in which they appeal for action against personnel named in forensic reports.

The group also produced confirmation that prosecutors were investigating charges related to the matter.

The board consists of Maseko, Mabela, Dirk Kunz, Deon Botha and Simelane.

Maseko has been accused of contravening the Public Finance Management Act, the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, fraud, gross violations of Acsa’s own codes and negligence of his oversight duties.

A 2016 forensic report recommended the suspension of Maseko and associates at Acsa, while disciplinary processes were under way.

Documents sourced from Acsa staff showed that the board had approved the pursuit of charges against those named in the report more than a year ago, yet no action has been taken against Maseko.

Meanwhile, Acsa’s group legal counsel, Bonginkosi Mfusi, is seeking a court order to compel Acsa to provide reasons for its failure to act against Maseko.

The employee group said it had sent several letters to the Presidency and the transport and finance departments, but these had gone unacknowledged. Copies of the letter were shown to Business Day.