South African Airways has released a press statement with respect to purported misleading media reports about the suspension of one of its executives. The statement in full reads:
1. The airline’s General Manager: Human Resources, Ms Thuli Mpshe has been placed on precautionary suspension by management of the company and not by the chairperson of the Board of Directors, Ms Dudu Myeni.
2. SAA finds it disturbing that one daily publication made its business to mislead the public by reporting on this story on a matter-of-fact basis and did so without laying a claim to anything as a basis that Ms Myeni is behind the suspension. SAA refutes this claim as the decision to suspend Ms Mpshe was an internal management prerogative based on operational considerations as well as the airline’s code of conduct.
3. SAA will not at this stage be drawn into providing the details or circumstances that led to the suspension, save to indicate that the suspension is pending the finalization of the allegations involving the conduct of Ms Mpshe in her capacity as the executive responsible and/or accountable for human resources.
4. The allegations against Ms Mpshe are of an extremely serious nature and warrant a proper investigation with unfettered access to information and potential witnesses to enable SAA to make informed decisions and to afford Ms Mpshe an opportunity to reflect on the situation.
5. SAA confirms that Marc Cavaliere has tendered his resignation and is serving notice until the end of June. Mr Cavaliere was a regional manager responsible for the Americas. He was not one of the executives as suggested by the daily publication today. His departure is based on personal choices that present growth prospects for his career.
6. In all positions where executives have left, the airline has been able to appoint second tier managers who have competently discharged their duties. Notwithstanding, proper recruitment process are being followed to fill the vacant positions in line with the airline’s human resource policy on recruitment and appointment.
7. As a State-owned company, SAA remains committed to good governance and will not blur the lines on management executive responsibility and oversight function the Board of Directors has over management. In any event, this is part of the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities.