See No Evil

Zondo: South African Airways, PwC can drag heels no longer

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on January 10, 2022 14:31

A passenger waits to be served at the South African Airways customer desk, at the O. R. Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) in Kempton Park © REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Publication of the first part of the Zondo Report on state capture has finally prompted South African Airways (SAA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to start facing reality.

The first part of the report by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was published on 4 January. It details the results of state capture within SAA and failings in internal controls, record-keeping, as well as management, legal division and company secretary capacity at the company.

The findings and recommendations of the commission will be “immediately implemented throughout all levels of the company,” SAA said in a statement today. “This, it is believed, will foster a culture of transparency, accountability and ethical conduct within the SAA group.”

That begs the question of what would happen in the absence of Zondo. All of the problems identified in the report were uncovered when the auditor-general took over from PwC and joint auditor Nkonki in 2017, so “everything should have been crystal clear to SAA” from that point, says Michael Marchant, head of investigations at Open Secrets, a

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