The presidency on Sunday denied a rift between President Jacob Zuma and Finance Minister Pravin over the SAA board chaired by Zuma’s personal friend Dudu Myeni.
“The presidency has noted media reports alleging a rift between the presidency and the National Treasury in relation to providing support to the South African Airways,” the presidency said in a statement.
“The rumours and gossip published in today’s Sunday Times on the matter are false, and regrettably the presidency was not asked for comment by the newspaper. The presidency and the National Treasury are working well together on this issue and are seeking solutions together,” the brief statement said.
The Sunday Times reported that the standoff between Zuma and the National Treasury about who should lead SAA was propelling the airline into an unprecedented crisis, with Hong Kong’s registrar of companies giving SAA until September 6 to submit its annual financial statements or face possible deregistration, which meant it would no longer be able to fly there.
The newspaper reported Gordhan had refused to accede to SAA’s request for a R5 billion government guarantee, citing government concerns. The guarantee would allow SAA to “renew its going concern status, get its financials passed by parliament, and continue borrowing money to survive”.
“The Sunday Times understands that Zuma has ignored two proposed board suggestions from Gordhan and his predecessor Nhlanhla Nene. Nene’s proposed board would have replaced Zuma’s personal friend Dudu Myeni as chair, while Gordhan’s list is believed to envisage removing Myeni from the SAA board altogether,” the newspaper reported.
– African News Agency (ANA)