‘We have reason to believe we were infiltrated’ – SAA

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South African Airways told Fin24 on Sunday afternoon that it had reason to believe that "an enterprise with transnational networks" was at play in the airline's latest woes, following reports that the parastatal may have been infiltrated by criminals organisations.

Sunday Times reported on Sunday morning that SAA admitted that had been infiltrated by an international crime syndicate which looted hundreds of millions from the airline through corrupt tenders, which may have included the supply of dodgy parts.

SAA's legal, risk and compliance executive Vusi Pikoli, told Sunday Times that the Directorate for Priority Criminal Investigations and National Prosecuting Authority revived organised crime and serious corruption investigations at the airline.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali told Fin24 that the airline must emphasise what is coming out in the public domain relates to legacy matters that date back to 2015-16.

"Based on the scale, methodology and the geographical location of some of the players identified, we have a reason to believe that there was an enterprise with transnational networks at play," said Tlali.

Tlali told Fin24 that SAA had resolved to restore governance at SAA and across all its subsidiaries, in which "a new era has dawned where consequence management is practice, not just philosophy".

"We are liaising with the agencies of state responsible for law enforcement and assets recovery to hold those responsible to account and return to the state what they unlawfully accrued to themselves," Tlali said.

Tlali said the airline would ensure that the law would be enforced and adhered to at the airline where it came to management of the entity and its finances.

While a report has sought to link a recent flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town to the infiltration that SAA is undertaking to investigate, a preliminary report into the matter has not been made final, he added.

The Sunday Times reported that a Mango Boeing nosedived during a flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town. This has been blamed on a defective part fitted by SAA Technical, according to the report.

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