Suspended SAA CFO Phumeza Nhantsi hints at further action

28 June 2018 - 14:28 By Linda Ensor
SAA's suspended CFO Phumeza Nhantsi says this matter is far from over.
SAA's suspended CFO Phumeza Nhantsi says this matter is far from over.
Image: Gallo Images / The Times / Alon Skuy. File photo

Suspended South African Airways (SAA) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Phumeza Nhantsi has hinted at further action following the finding by an internal disciplinary inquiry that she and suspended former CEO Musa Zwane were guilty of gross financial misconduct‚ negligence and dishonesty.

The chairperson of the inquiry‚ Nazeer Cassim SC‚ recommended that Nhantsi and Zwane be summarily dismissed by SAA for their actions in relation to a tender with BNP Capital to source R15-billion in debt consolidation funds at a success fee of R256-million.

The deal was stopped after media reports. SAA could have undertaken the deal for R85-million.

Nhantsi has denied the allegations and has argued that they are baseless. In a statement she issued out on Thursday the embattled CFO said that "because this matter is far from over I believe it is inappropriate to make any further comment at this time”.

"At no time did I engage in conduct which I believed to be in violation of SAA corporate governance policies. At all times I faithfully carried out my duties on behalf of the company to the best of my ability. I have always faithfully complied with my fiduciary duties to SAA. My conscience and record is clear‚" Nhantsi said.

"I acted with honesty and integrity avoiding actual or apparent conflict of interest in personal and professional relationships. I am deeply disappointed that SAA management took the action it did‚ maliciously and in reckless disregard of my hard work‚ sacrifices for the good of the company and the shareholder.

Indeed it is regrettable that the company has rushed to publicly condemn me in the face of my complete denial of wrongdoing. The allegations against me have no foundation."

Cassim found that Nhantsi and Zwane should have resisted pressure from former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni to appoint BNP Capital. He found that they had not acted in SAA's best interests by approving the transaction and also recommending a R49-million cancellation fee when the deal did not succeed.