The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has exposed the lies former Cabinet minister Malusi Gigaba told the National Assembly speaker in 2012 when he claimed the South African Airways (SAA) board chaired by Cheryl Carolus had not yet submitted an audited financial statement, which was not the case.
The commission’s senior counsel, Kate Hofmeyer, yesterday read a letter from Gigaba to former finance minister Pravin Gordhan in which he confirmed SAA had submitted its audited statements on August 31, 2012, which was contrary to what he had told the speaker.
At the time, the board awaited a letter for an R5 billion state guarantee so it could raise funds from financial institutions to renew the airline’s fleet of planes, which Gigaba had agreed to.
The letter from National Treasury approving the guarantee signed by Gordhan and director-general Lungisa Fuzile on September 26, 2012, was sent to the department of public enterprises the next day.
Gigaba had told Carolus during their meeting on September 25 that his department was in possession of the Treasury letter, but that was untrue and caused board members much anxiety about being unable to hold their last annual general meeting.
Board members who were directors in other companies were concerned about being in breach of the Companies Act, which would have adversely affected their reputations.
“Gigaba attempted to frustrate board members by not tabling the financial statements,” Carolus said.