RIGHT OF REPLY | Adv Lindi Nkosi-Thomas she is ready to go to the Zondo commission over SAA claims

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
South African Airways aircraft.
South African Airways aircraft.
Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images

Advocate Lindiwe Nkosi-Thomas has responded to claims made in a column written by Siya Khumalo regarding an incident at SAA, and says she is ready to assist the Zondo commission in the matter if she is required to do so. 

Advocate Lindiwe Nkosi-Thomas, who has acted as a judge in the High Court, says she is willing to go the Zondo commission and respond to claims that she allegedly doctored legal opinion during a stint at SAA.

Nkosi-Thomas was responding to a News24 column in which Siya Khumalo wrote that she has a case to answer to.

"The statement is a falsity. I have addressed it in the past and I address it, yet again. The material background to this falsity is that I, in the exercise of my fiduciary duty to the SAA, refused to rubber-stamp the irregular appointment of four consultants to the SAA," she said. 

In 2009, former Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan appointed Nkosi-Thomas for a three-year term as a non-executive director of the national carrier. She served in the position until February 2014. 

During that time, it came to light that four consultants had been appointed without due process being followed. 

Contrary view

Nkosi-Thomas said that she held a contrary view to Fikile Thabethe, who was acting he of legal, risk and compliance at the time.

Thabethe had concluded that the irregular consultancy agreements were binding on the SAA.

"In my view, SAA was not bound to the terms of the four irregular consultancy agreements and was, thus, obliged to avoid them. My view was carried by the board with the result that the four irregular contracts were, indeed, avoided by SAA."

Nkosi-Thomas said the consultants then approached the Labour Court where they failed in their endeavour. The Labour Appeal Court also rejected their case. 

"My advice to the board and its resultant resolution were, thus, upheld by both the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court."

She added that there were no pending fraud charges against her after the NPA declined to prosecute her on related charges and the Johannesburg Society of Advocates cleared her of any wrongdoing.

No regret

"I have no regret whatever in regard to the advice I proffered to the SAA and its consequences.

"Ultimately, my opinion and the resultant board resolution saved the SAA millions in potential fruitless and wasteful expenditure," Nkosi-Thomas said. 

"I stand ready to assist the Zondo commission in this regard, should I be required so to do," she said.

Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni and former board member Yakhe Kwinana have already appeared before the commission.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
14% - 61 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
26% - 116 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
60% - 270 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo