Johannesburg – The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) on Monday claimed that the Public Enterprises Minister has “secretly” replaced the South African Airways (SAA) board.
NUMSA said in a statement attributed to its General Secretary Irvin Jim that, “it has been reliably informed, from a senior source within government, that the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, has removed the SAA board, and replaced them with an entirely new board, and he has done so without informing the public, or informing the governing party”.
NUMSA added: “We are told that the entire SAA board was removed as of the 14th of April and replaced with new board members who have already received their appointment letters.
“NUMSA has information from a credible source, who shall remain anonymous, that Gordhan has sworn the entire board to secrecy, in order to protect his alleged corruption.”
The union named the new SAA board members as:
1. Derek Hanekom (who is the board chairperson)
2. Dumisani Sangweni
3. Fatima Ghani (who is also on the Eskom board)
4. Mahlubi Mazwai
5. Fundi Sithebe
6. Wrenelle Stander
NUMSA said Stander, the former CEO of Comair, “contributed to the collapse of Comair which is now facing liquidation”.
The union added: “John Lamola the current interim CEO has been asked to stay on, as acting CEO, but his fate remains unknown.
“We condemn the ANC government and its top leadership for the fact that they have allowed Minister Gordhan to do as he pleases and that he is allowed to run rogue, and dispense of State-Owned Entities (SOE), without following the law.”
However, soon after NUMSA statement the public enterprises department confirmed the new board appointments saying it was “pleased to announce the appointment of a highly skilled and diverse Interim Board of Directors for SAA, marking a significant step forward in the national carrier’s ongoing transformation”.
“This New Interim Board builds upon the foundations laid by the previous board and brings together an
exceptional team of experts with experience across various fields.”
The department confirmed the Interim Non-Executive Directors had been appointed to the SAA Board of Directors as had earlier been stated by NUMSA.