State Capture Inquiry to hear more testimony about contracts at SAA

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The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will continue to hear South African Airways related testimony on Thursday, from the acting head of Supply Chain Management at the airline, Schalk Hendrik Human.

On Wednesday, it was heard that former SAA non-Executive Director Yakhe Kwinana wanted to leave her position as board chairperson of SAA Technical (SAAT) to get a hold of contracts from the airline.

This is according to testimony given by SRS Aviation founding member and Director Sibongile Sambo.

She told the commission how Kwinana was used by SAA Technical and a Chicago based aviation maintenance and supply chain company to secure a tender worth millions.

Sambo explains what kinds of contracts Kwinana wanted from SAAT.

“Aircrafts tyres, contracts for logistics, I can’t remember what else besides the components.”

She was then asked, “What did you understand her to mean that she wanted to get her hands on those contracts? I don’t know, I can’t remember if I asked her what she meant, I don’t know what she meant, I think she can answer that herself.”

Sambo also told the commission she was introduced to a politically connected individual named Rafik Bagus who would assist her with a tender she was bidding for at SAAT.

Sambo says in 2011 she wanted to supply SAA Technical with various aircraft components and started bidding. As the tender process progressed she partnered with an American based company named AAR -which later introduced her to the politically connected Bagus

Sambo explains why Bagus was brought in to assist with the bidding.

She was asked, “What was going to be his advice about was it about business or just what exactly was he going to advice on that SRS was not able to assist on? He had already indicated to AAR that partnering with SRS alone was not broad enough and Rafik indicated that alone was not broad enough for the relationship with AAR.”