South Africa 4.7.2018 11:28 am

Former SAA CFO lodges unfair dismissal complaint

Phumeza Nhantsi says the company fired her on the basis of unfounded allegations.

Former South African Airways (SAA) chief financial officer (CFO) Phumeza Nhantsi on Wednesday said she had filed a case of unfair dismissal with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) against the debt-ridden national airline.

SAA last week fired Nhantsi and acting chief executive Musa Zwane, having earlier suspended them for recommending to the board that the carrier sign a deal with financier BnP Capital to raise R15 billion to consolidate its debt in return for a R256 million fee.

Nhantsi said the company fired her on the basis of unfounded allegations.

“As an employer, SAA was required to carry out an investigation and find sufficient proof of misconduct before taking disciplinary action. Simply put, SAA was required to prove that I was guilty of misconduct and not depend solely on speculation or unfounded allegations.”

She said she made submissions prior to her dismissal, but these were not given due consideration.

“I hope that the CCMA will give both SAA and I a platform to prove that I cannot be held responsible and blameworthy for any acts which violated company policies.

“I believe that as an employer, SAA overlooked the fact that it is not merely the unfounded allegations that must be proved. For any misconduct to be proved, SAA should have proven that the alleged misconduct occurred and that I could rightfully be held responsible and blameworthy, instead of just maliciously and recklessly rushing to judgement,” Nhantsi added.

SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali said at this stage all the company could say was that it noted her decision to approach the CCMA.

“We will comment at an appropriate time through proper legal process if called to do so,” he said.

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