Former SAA CFO denies accusations, slams 'reckless' SAA

Former SAA CFO Phumeza Nhantsi.
Former SAA CFO Phumeza Nhantsi.

Cape Town – Former chief financial officer of South African Airways (SAA) Phumeza Nhantsi came out swinging on Thursday, denying all accusations of impropriety during her time at the national carrier.

She released a statement after the disciplinary chaired by Adv. Nazeer Cassim (SC) found Nhantsi and former acting CEO Musa Zwane guilty of "facilitating questionable payments" to BnP Capital and recommended their dismissal.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) claimed the ruling brings former SAA chair Dudu Myeni one step closer to being declared a delinquent director.

SAA is one of many state-owned enterprises still reeling from the years of state capture when private interests were allowed to milk the entity dry.

READ: 'I wouldn't characterise it as state capture' - CEO Jarana on SAA

However, Nhantsi dismissed any claims of acting outside of the law or internal SAA policy when making any decisions which affected the national carrier.

“At no time did I engage in conduct which I believed to be in violation of SAA corporate governance policies. At all times, I faithfully carried out my duties on behalf of the company to the best of my ability,” said Nhantsi.

Nhantsi slammed SAA for what she called the “reckless” handling of the disciplinary processes which negatively impact her and her reputation.

“I am deeply disappointed that SAA management took the action it did, maliciously and in reckless disregard of my hard work, sacrifices for the good of the company and the shareholder.

READ: No room for Dudu Myeni in Nzimande’s office

“Indeed, it is regrettable that the company has rushed to publicly condemn me in the face of my complete denial of wrongdoing. The allegations against me have no foundation,” Nhantsi said.

According to evidence presented at the disciplinary hearing and in court, Myeni put pressure on SAA leadership to pay BnP R49.9m in cancellation fees, after OUTA presented evidence that the company had its Financial Services Board license revoked.

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