A South African Airways plane prepares to land at OR Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Johannesburg - SA Airways on Friday said it stood by its CEO Monwabisi Kalawe and that allegations of widespread irregularities were “untested”.

“The board of directors at South African Airways stands firmly behind the airline's group CEO, Monwabisi Kalawe,” spokesman Tlali Tlali said in a statement.

Nothing untoward about Kalawe's conduct had been brought to the board's attention, and it had not decided to have Kalawe investigated.

According to reports, SAA chairwoman Duduzile Myeni had asked the Auditor General to investigate Kalawe. Kalawe had apparently left the board in the dark about his alleged attempt to buy shares in an insolvent airline.

Tlali said the media was used to place incorrect information in the public domain.

“If this is left unchallenged, it will tarnish our brand and the business; blemish the image of the shareholder and government and cause irreparable harm to the good name and reputation of individuals against whom these allegations are made.”

He said an interim report detailing the allegations did not “enjoy any official status” in SAA and its contents remained untested.