SA Express discrepancy over R1.8bn assets on book with R113m assets on ground
Cape Town - SA Express's liquidators have revealed that the R1.8billion in assets listed in its books actually only equate to R113million of assets on the ground.
MPs have demanded action against SA Express as the airline faces liquidation in the courts.
Liquidator Aviwe Ndyamara told members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that the company was in financial distress.
The work the liquidators had done since they took over from the business rescue practitioners in May was to identify SA Express's assets and quantify them.
However, they found that the assets of R1.8bn listed in the airline's books had an actual value of R113m of assets on the ground.
“When we took office the quantum of the assets was R1.8bn. But for the past five weeks we have reduced that to R113m. There is a massive discrepancy between what is known in the record and the assets on the ground,” said Ndyamara.
“As we are accessing the stores, we will reconcile the assets register. There is an issue of the integrity of documents we have in our possession. The issue of the bond is a case in point,” said Ndyamara.
Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said there was a need for former board and executive members of SA Express to account for what had happened at the airline.
Ndyamara said they were also looking at selling the airline. But this did not sit well with some MPs who said the liquidators were in too much of a rush to put the airline up for sale.
They said they did not have the best interests of the workers at heart, as they had not been paid for the past two months and would lose their jobs if the sale went through.
Ndyamara said seven parties were interested in buying SA Express.
Hlengwa said they needed more answers on SA Express and Scopa would probe the airline.
This would follow the probes into Eskom, SAA and the Department of Water and Sanitation to be conducted by the committee, said Hlengwa.
He said they should have gone to SA Express earlier to establish the cause of its problems.
Ndyamara also said they would investigate alleged corruption at the airline.
“We can begin the inquiry at any time. It’s a question of cost and availability of funds,” he said, adding that they were talking to the unions.