SAA suspends treasurer who warned against R256 million deal

The treasurer who advised against SAA moving ahead with a dodgy R256 million finance deal with an unlicensed company has been suspended.

SAA treasurer Cynthia Stimpel has been suspended for “misconduct”, after she raised questions about the deal with BnP, which the airline was paying three times more than necessary.

Stimpel is the latest in a long line of “defiant” employees who have been given the chop.

According to a report by BDLive, SAA has denied that Stimpel’s suspension is in any way related to the finance deal with BnP Capital, but would not give any more detail around it.

In May, Stimpel sent an email to SAA CFO Phumeza Nhantsi expressing concern about awarding R256 million to “boutique financier”, BnP Capital, without going through the appropriate tender processes.

Read: Cash-strapped SAA shrugs off tenders in R256 million deal: report

She said she was uncomfortable with the deal because, if proper tender processes were followed, the services could have been acquired for a third of the price – an important consideration for a company currently running at a massive loss.

Civil action group, Outa, later revealed that BnP Capital had its licence revoked by the Financial Services Board, a fact that should have made them ineligible for the deal in the first place.

SAA has repeatedly come under fire for its operational and spending practices, with claims that chairwoman, Myeni is core to the company’s problems.

The SAA chairperson is closely linked to president Jacob Zuma, serving as chairwoman of the Jacob Zuma Foundation, and has tightened her grip on SAA over the past few years.

In May, head of human resources Thuli Mpshe got the chop due to conflict with Myeni – and it is speculated that she had a hand in getting former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene fired.

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SAA suspends treasurer who warned against R256 million deal