The South African Airways (SAA) board of directors yesterday assured the public that it would not cover up corruption at the state-owned airline following a Sunday newspaper report that it paid R4.5billion to overseas companies for long-term contracts. The board also said action taken against anyone accused of criminality must have factual basis and be legally sustainable. “It is important to understand the status these reports enjoy within the business and the processes the company has embarked upon before conclusions are made on the basis of any aspect of such reports,” it said. Investigations were previously commissioned by SAA to look into financial losses incurred by the company. “The board has looked into those reports and concluded that, as matters stand, they are incomplete.”
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It was finalising these reports, including soliciting input from all affected parties and executive management. City Press claimed that two forensic reports in its possession reveal how SAA Technical, which maintains and services the fleets of the national airline and several other carriers, “flouted procurement regulations and extended contracts several times without going to tender”.