Carol Paton Writer at Large

A mad scheme by former CFO of SA Airways Phumeza Nhantsi to borrow R15bn for the airline from a Russian outfit called Grissag to which she was introduced by a Free State farmer known to her only as Van Der Merwe has come to light in documents detailing her disciplinary hearing. The absurd story, which is detailed in a report on the disciplinary hearings of Nhantsi and former SAA CEO Musa Zwane, illustrates the depths to which SAA plunged under the leadership of chair Dudu Myeni, who is named as being behind the scheme. Both Nhantsi and Zwane were dismissed from SAA in June 2018 . Myeni was a close friend of former president Jacob Zuma and despite ongoing allegations of corruption and abuse of power, was considered untouchable and was head of the board for five years until she was finally removed in 2017. SAA’s fortunes deteriorated markedly during Myeni’s tenure and the airline incurred large losses. Nhantsi and Zwane both testified that Myeni had pressured them into recommending th...

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