Martin Kingston quits SAA board

South African Airways
South African Airways

SAA board member Martin Kingston has resigned from the board of the ailing national carrier.

City Press has been reliably informed that Kingston on Friday submitted his resignation letter to the board, the company secretary and Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan.

The move has sparked fears that more board members could follow suit in the coming days. SAA was placed under business rescue last December due to financial distress.

Business Day reported on Thursday that SAA was again in a perilous situation after the R2 billion it was promised by the Treasury to fund the business-rescue process failed to materialise.

READ: SAA desperate for state’s R2bn cash

The publication said that without this funding the national airline could be forced to suspend flights by January 19, and could go into liquidation, which involves selling its assets to pay creditors.

A final decision to liquidate the airline could have potential negative consequences for the sitting board members as they could be declared delinquent, which would mean that they would have to go under rehabilitation for a period of five years before taking up any other board membership elsewhere.

READ: ANC does not want SAA to fail

Kingston stepped down as chief executive of Rothschild & Co’s South African unit in April last year after 13 years, saying that he wanted to play a role is assisting the country’s beleaguered state-owned companies.

At the time he was already on the board of struggling South African Airways and served as vice president of Business Unity South Africa, an organised business lobby group.

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