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‘SAA used forensic investigators to discredit certain employees’

SABC News Thuli Mpshe - ‘SAA used forensic investigators to discredit certain employees’

The State Capture Commission underway in Johannesburg has heard that the SAA board used forensic investigators as a tool to discredit, dismiss and bring disciplinary cases against certain SAA employees.

This is according to former SAA human capital manager, Mathulwane Mpshe.

The former human capital manager says then board chair Dudu Myeni once asked her to sign a tender for the use of an ad-hoc forensic investigating company without following due process.

The company had asked for payment of R50 000 in advance.

She pointed out how a forensic investigating company was used to oust former CFO Wolf Meyer and investigate former acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout.

BEE policy  

Mpshe has also told the Commission that the SAA board wanted to implement a policy to set aside 30% for BEE – where 30% of all procurement at SAA would be set aside for black businesses. However the policy had not been approved by Treasury.

Mpshe says SAA board Chair Dudu Myeni was very confrontational about the policy and said transformation was key to the national agenda.


Whistle blowing reports

Mpshe reveals how shocked she was when she learnt that Acting Chair of Audit Risk and Compliance Yakhe Kwinana and board Chair Dudu Myeni had fabricated whistle blowing reports.

She says the reports were then used as tools to intimidate, investigate and suspend staff who did not toe the line.

Mpshe says she was told that the two ladies would go into an internet shop and fabricate the reports. Mpshe says Kwinana targeted her too when she raised concerns.

“Mr Bezuidenhout – his matter was a whistle blower.  But I was really shocked that, in my view, people can stoop so low. I mean to use my expression that people can stoop so low, people being given such positions of responsibility,” she argued.

LSG Sky Chefs contract 

It was also demonstrated how Myeni instructed that an R85 million contract, awarded to LSG Sky Chefs, be cancelled and awarded to Air Chefs – a company on which Myeni was a board member.

In August 2015, BEE compliant LSG Sky Chefs won a contract from SAA to supply catering services to SAA lounges.

In an email to Myeni instructed Mpshe to hold the Sky Chefs contract despite it already been given a letter of award.

The HR head then advised Myeni she would have to consult with the SAA legal team as the contract had already been awarded.

Myeni was not happy about this and arranged a board resolution where the LSG Sky Chefs contract was cancelled and awarded to Air Chefs.

Former Transport Minister Ben Martins is scheduled to testify at the Zondo Commission on Tuesday.

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