DA calls for minister to be axed over SAA silence

2009-03-26 00:00

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling for the head of Public Enterprises Minister Brigitte Mabandla, saying she should be axed for endorsing the decision of South African Airways' (SAA) board to provide a reported R8 million settlement to axed SAA CEO Khaya Ngqula.

The DA call follows a cabinet about-turn on the controversial settlement.

Last week, cabinet expressed fury at the reported financial settlement, saying it would seek legal advice on the matter.

Cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko said the settlement had been reached at a time when serious allegations of misconduct were being investigated by the board.

However, yesterday Maseko conceded that Mabandla had not made it clear to her cabinet colleagues that she had approved the deal.

Maseko told journalists that Mabandla did not speak up last week because she did not have details of the settlement at the time.

DA Public Enterprises spokesman Manie Van Dyk said yesterday that Mabandla must go for failing to tell SAA's major shareholder - the cabinet - about the settlement.

"When the cabinet discussed the decision at a meeting last week, and then publicly questioned it, the minister remained silent.

"She is responsible for billions of rands of public assets that have shaped the spending priorities of the cabinet, yet she failed to communicate a critical decision to her colleagues in government," Van Dyk said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, the poor performance of ministers does not only affect the name of the ANC, but has a real, detrimental impact on us all. Minister Mabandla must go," Van Dyk said.

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