SAA board ignored advice and picked agency to offer R15bn loan, commission told

The state capture commission of inquiry has heard how the South African Airways (SAA) board unilaterally rejected the recommendation of a company called Seacrest to provide a R15bn loan and instructed that the finance instead be obtained from the Free State Development Corporation.

The national carrier’s financial risk head Cynthia Stimpel took the stand on Thursday.

The inquiry has turned its focus on issues of corruption and irregularities within the aviation sector.

Eyewitness News reporter Barry Bateman details some of the testimony.

An entire board resolved that the FDC would get this particular tender and that the acting COO at the time should put in all the measures to ensure that the loan is obtained. Simply explaining how irregular this was, just on the basis of the letter, there was no due diligence, no process of evaluating.

Barry Bateman, Reporter - EWN

In fact, the FDC did not have the mandate to provide any services for a national project or provide finance of this nature to South African Airways, a state-owned entity.

Barry Bateman, Reporter - EWN

Bateman says Stimpel went on to testify how she was against the way financial advisers were appointed.

Organisations and companies were brought in to provide services that were being conducted by the internal departments within the state-owned company - in this case, the financial advisers to come and try and secure loans for SAA. Stimpel telling is but we were doing this ourselves... nevertheless the board went ahead and appointed a particular company.

Barry Bateman, Reporter - EWN

She has also spoken about how all major decisions were driven by the board.

Barry Bateman, Reporter - EWN

It is said this all happened under the leadership of Dudu Miyeni.

Click on the link below to hear the full report...


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