SAA's Yakhe Kwinana can run, but she can't hide - Outa


Cape Town - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) plans to lodge a series of acts of misconduct against Yakhe Kwinana, who resigned from the SAA board, which they believe will prove her a delinquent director.

Kwinana, a chartered accountant, has been a member of the SAA board since 2009 and when she quite she was the chair of South African Airways’ audit and risk committee.

She apparently resigned on Monday because the airline seems destined for liquidation, Fin24’s sister publication City Press reported on Wednesday.

“I choose to resign rather than see SAA folding under my watch, 9 000 jobs being lost, because of my holding on to the position as a board member,” Kwinana said in her resignation letter that was sent to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and SAA chair Dudu Myeni.

Kwinana told City Press that if SAA was liquidated with her as a director it could disqualify her from the boards of her own companies.

However, Outa said it is too late for Kwinana to escape without facing any consequences.

It described her resignation as "an insincere and selfish move which smacks of a self-preserving act by a person around whom the walls of an investigation are closing fast".

Outa has been investigating Kwinana’s conduct and interference in decision making as an SAA board member for some time now.

"[H]er conduct falls very short when analysed against the test of a reasonable board member," said Outa's director of legal affairs Ivan Herselman.

"She may run, but she cannot hide as her fingerprints are all over the cookie jar and they're not going away.”

Outa believes that Kwinana has acted with disregard for the principles and practises that govern her profession as a chartered accountant and falling well short of complying with the ethics in SA Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (SAICA) Code of Professional Conduct.

"Outa will level a list of notable acts of misconduct against Kwinana, which we believe will prove her a delinquent director.

"The most recent one being BNP Capital Transaction Advisor deal, where she had approved (via signing and endorsing a resolution) the transaction, despite the requisite internal control measures relating thereto and sound internal advice from the Airline’s Treasury department being provided against this transaction."

Outa said Kwinana’s lack of oversight when exercising these decisions, not only an independent board member but also as a chartered accountant and the chair of the board’s audit and risk committee, is a serious offence.

News24 exclusively revealed that SAA's controversial appointment of BnP Capital for a fee of R256m was not only expensive, but also put on hold an approved banking tender to Nedbank.

The report stated that SAA's board approved the awarding of banking services to Nedbank on May 27, for five years, at an estimated cost of R278m.

But the awarding of this contract would be on condition that the "Nedbank contract [be] deferred subject to [the] debt consolidation process finalisation". BnP Capital was appointed to advise SAA on how to restructure its R15bn debt.

"Other forms of misconduct include the alleged intimidation of a number of executive staff members in relation to issues of procurement of service providers, whilst exercising an active role in influencing certain service provider appointments."

Outa said in its quest to show that Kwinana has acted unlawfully or she is declared as a delinquent director, it will request that her auditing firm Kwinana & Associates will no longer be fit to do business with government.

It will then also call on National Treasury to place a restriction on all organs of state from entering into any new business which has Kwinana as a director.

The group is of the view that Kwinana, together with Myeni will both be declared delinquent directors in due course.

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