SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Johannesburg - SAA has stuck to its flight plan - it will take the Public Protector to court if she continues to meddle in its decision to take disciplinary action against its employees.

This comes as SAA denied on Friday that it was victimising the dismissed employees and those facing disciplinary action for making disparaging remarks against senior officials at the airline. But the Public Protector told the airline to back off from taking disciplinary action against whistle blowers until she has finished her probe into corruption at SAA.

SAA employees lodged a complaint against the airline, based on tender irregularities and corruption.

The national carrier has dismissed four employees who were part of the group of whistle blowers who made disparaging remarks on social media against senior officials at SAA.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said SAA was still going ahead with disciplinary action against another five people, who were part of the group of whistle blowers. Tlali denied SAA was victimising the employees by taking disciplinary action against them. He said should the public protector find against SAA, it will go to court. 

This is in line with the Constitutional Court judgment on the powers of the public protector. The organisation can either implement her decision or take it on review. “We are not saying the public protector cannot protect whistle blowers, but in respect of these employees it does not amount to whistle blowing,” he said. “This is after they went on social media to make disparaging remarks against senior officials at SAA.”

Tlali said a group of people had gone to the Public Protector under the Protected Disclosures Act to blow the whistle on corruption at SAA; of these, however, as well as others, management had been able to identify those who made disparaging remarks on social media.

The Public Protector’s spokesperson Cleo Mosana said whistle blowers were protected by the law. “We don’t want to undermine the management of SAA. but they must hold this is abeyance.”

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