Court grants SA Express liquidators three-month extension to probe airline issues

BREAKING NEWS
Court grants SA Express liquidators three-month extension to probe airline issues

Empty SA Express desks as SA Express suspended all flights due to the Covid-19 pandemic at OR Tambo International airport in Kempton Park, 18 March 2020. There is a small number of staff attending to passengers helping them get other flights. Picture: Neil McCartney

Scopa was left furious after a no-show by SA Express liquidators on Tuesday, but the courts have extended their term for a further three months.

SA Express will remain under provisional liquidation for a while longer, following a High Court order which has granted liquidators an extension of three months to further probe the airlines’ financial woes.

The airline is under provisional liquidation following an earlier high court ruling in April, which left several staffers out in the cold as most allegedly did not receive their salaries since the end of February.

On Tuesday, the day which was intended to be the final day for the court to issue a final way forward on the liquidation process, an application was filed to further extend the term of the provisional liquidators. This extension for an extended term of three months, until September 9  was granted around midday.

The SA Express legal team have argued that the extension would provide time to possibly save jobs, as well as the business.

While financial liquidators have been granted a lifeline, a meeting between Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and the financial liquidators did not happen on Tuesday as expected, following a no-show by the liquidators.

The SA Express liquidators failed to appear before Scopa and Public Enterprises department to provide an update on the liquidation process and Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa confirmed the liquidators would be called to appear before the committee next Wednesday.

Scopa, the watchdog on public spending, was left frustrated by the liquidators but has set in motion a plan to subpoena them should they not appear before Parliament next Wednesday.

Although the liquidators were brought in, in an attempt to remedy salary issues at the airline, their behaviour did not inspire much confidence, said Hlengwa.

“They are gambling with the sustainable livelihoods of workers on the one hand and testing the already fragile South African economy on the other hand.”

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