Open Secrets’ "Corporations and Economic Crime" report paints a dismal, if unsurprising, picture of the failure of a host of outside experts and internal divisions at SAA, showing almost comically how wrong things can go.It all started with a cracker — the sort you’re served with a lump of cheese as part of SAA’s in-flight meal.In 2014 Simon Mantell, the owner of confectionery business Mantelli’s, was informed by SAA catering subsidiary Air Chefs that his company had won a tender to provide biscuits to the airline.But Mantell’s delight turned to consternation a few months later, when Air Chefs made an alarming U-turn. The company informed him that there had been a miscommunication, and that the contract should never have gone out to tender in the first place. Instead, the contract with the incumbent — a company called Ciro, which was part of Anglovaal Industries (AVI) — would remain in place.Mantell, however, was not to be blown off that easily, and vowed to get to the bottom of the...

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