Politics

LIVE FEED: State capture inquiry, February 21, 2020

LIVE FEED: State capture inquiry, February 21, 2020

Johannesburg - The Zondo commission will resume its focus on state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA). 

The commission will hear from witnesses from the Auditor General's office. The business executive at the AG's office Polani Sokombela will continue his testimony. The inquiry will also hear testimony from Pule Joseph Mothibe, a partner at auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

On Thursday, Sokombela explained how the AGs auditing processes work. He focused his testimony on SAA's appointment of external auditors, PWC and Nkonki, between 2012 until 2015. He said SAA had continuously notified the AG's office on its appointments and re-appointments of the auditing firms. 

He said the AG's office did pick up a few issues with whether SAA had followed its own supply chain management processes when it decided to appointment Nkonki in a five-year auditing contract.

In 2016, the then minister of finance Nhlanhla Nene decided that SAA's financials would be audited by the AG's office. 

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SAA has been struggling financially for years and unable to make a profit. Some of the concerns around the airline's performance have been blamed on poor leadership. 

Former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni is currently facing a court case brought by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse. Outa wants to have Myeni declared a delinquent director, which would result in her being unable to hold any position in SOE boards. 

Myeni has been blamed for the dire financial condition SAA has found itself in under her leadership. However, she has denied that decisions taken by the airline should be blamed on her.

In December, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the airline would be placed under business rescue. The business rescue practitioners appointed had recently raised the ire of unions and politicians when it was decided that the airline would cancel some of its routes and only keep strategic routes. 

The inquiry resumes at 10 am.

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