Government and SAA are being sued by a little-known investment firm, which wants the sale of a majority stake in the carrier scrapped and re-run due to a lack of transparency, reports My Broadband.

This year’s acquisition of 51% of SAA by the Takatso Consortium – made up of a local jet-leasing company and a private-equity firm – for just R51 was ‘unlawful and constitutionally invalid,’ according to documents filed at the Western Cape High Court by Toto Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

The transaction was ‘shrouded in secrecy’ and ‘not fair, equitable, competitive or cost effective,’ according to the filing by Toto founder Bongani Gigaba, who says his firm was unfairly excluded from the deal.

The filing is the first legal action against the sale, which has drawn criticism from National Treasury, opposition parties and media in part due to the lack of proceeds for the taxpayer.

SAA has received notice of the Toto lawsuit and the Department of Public Enterprises will respond, a spokeswoman said.

Toto, in which Gigaba is the sole shareholder, filed an expression of interest in SAA that was rejected within days, according to the documents.

Toto is part of a consortium that controls a 24% stake in Richards Bay Minerals, majority-owned by mining giant Rio Tinto Plc.

The investment is worth as much as R15bn, Toto said in the court documents.

Full My Broadband report