Letter to SAA and the Minister of Finance

Letter to SAA and the Minister of Finance

On Sunday, 13 December 2015, the Helen Suzman Foundation (‘HSF’) wrote to SAA and the Minister of Finance. 

We asked them to confirm or deny allegations, reported over the weekend, that the SAA Board has asked, or intends to ask, the Minister of Finance to reconsider Nhlanhla Nene’s rejection of the proposed amendments to the Airbus Deal. 

The letter was also sent to the Treasury, the Minister of Public Enterprises and the President.

In light of yesterday’s further Cabinet reshuffle, where David Van Rooyen was replaced with Pravin Gordhan, urgent clarity is needed. 

Apart from a question of lawfulness, the economic soundness of what SAA proposed to then Minister Nene is questionable.  More worryingly, according to reports, Airbus will not even agree to the proposals.

Should SAA fail to uphold the swap transaction, Airbus will call on SAA to settle its debts. 

If SAA is not able to effect payment, as is widely expected, it will trigger obligations to immediately repay all its other creditors to the tune of R 11 billion. This will have significant, and potentially irreversible, implications for SAA and the Republic.

The SAA Board and the Government must account for their actions, especially where the financial health of the country is at stake. 

The HSF expects a reply to our questions by 17:00 today. We further expect these parties to deliver, no later than 12h00 tomorrow, 15 December 2015, all relevant documentation pertaining to these deals.

Should the HSF not receive adequate and timeous replies, it will not hesitate to exercise its rights, in the public interest, without delay.

See a copy of the letter on our website here.

Media inquiries:

Francis Antonie, Director: 011 482 2872 or 083 408 7943
Matthew Kruger, Legal Researcher: 011 482 2872 or 072 861 2776
Kameel Premhid, Legal Researcher: 011 482 2872 or 071 676 3878
Chris Pieters, Legal Researcher: 011 482 2872 or 072 227 2500