The tail and logo of a South African Airways (SAA) aircraft are pictured behind two people at Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town
Johannesburg - The SACP has urged the government to conduct forensic investigations into alleged tender irregularities and irregular appointments to key positions in SAA in 2017.

The SACP said investigations should include the period when former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni was at the helm, and also focus on other procurement after her removal in October 2017.

The call came as the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed Myeni’s last bid to stop Outa and the SAA Pilots Association (SAAPA) from going ahead with their court application to declare her a delinquent director during her period as SAA board chairperson until October 2017.

Outa and SAAPA argue in their court application - due to be heard on January 27 - that Myeni was allegedly responsible for the appointment of a company called BnP as a transaction adviser.

They also argued that BnP was appointed in April to source funding of R15 billion for the national airline, and argue that the appointment was made despite BnP having lost their financial services provider certificate.

The SACP urged the government to prioritise an investigation into these appointments as a manner of urgency.

This was the party’s declaration following the conclusion of its fourth special national congress yesterday, held in Kempton Park over a period of four days.

More than 750 delegates unanimously adopted their call that the government adopt a comprehensive aviation industrial policy, anchored in turning around SAA and repositioning it as a state-owned enterprise which would serve as the mainstay of our domestic aviation sector and contribute to tourism with thriving domestic and international flight routes.

Surprisingly, the SACP - which had initially opposed the call for SAA to be placed under business rescue - made an about-turn and support the government move.

The party apparently changed its mind after Deputy President David Mabuza told delegates their decision to place SAA under business rescue was aimed at saving jobs and to avoid closing it down.

Reading the declaration, SACP spokesperson Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo said: “The strategy should include technical and professional airline capacity building through education and training programmes. As part of its rescue plan every contract entered into and tender must be thoroughly scrutinised”.

Politics Bureau