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CAPE TOWN - Lack of leadership capacity and poor governance due to lack of focus over the years has led to a number of procurement shortfalls and poor performance culture at the embattled regional airline South African Express, Parliament's portfolio committee on public enterprises heard on Wednesday.

“Because of the poor governance, it led to a number of procurement shortfalls and poor performance culture in the organisation and we have also to be honest that we actually have found that there has been a maleficence and some level of corruption within the system,” SA Express chief executive Siza Mzimela said.

Mzimela briefed the committee on the organisation’s turnaround strategy. She said that up until 2010, SA Express was actually considered the fastest growing domestic and regional passenger and cargo carrier on the continent and at that point, the airline was already operating 23 aircraft and was profitable.

“And we make this point because we do obviously find ourselves in a totally different position today. We want to deal with that because when we talk about some of the problems that we faced, I talked about the fact we had 23 aircraft that were in full operation in 2010 but prior to our suspension, although we were down to a fleet of 22 aircraft," Mzimela said. 

"We were only operating 13 of those aircraft and the rest were trying to cover our schedule by bringing in chartered aircraft which itself created a problem within our system.” 

- African News Agency (ANA)