An investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) of the affairs of SAA has recovered R14m and identified a further R3.4bn that has to be recouped from companies and individuals who were awarded contracts irregularly.

Business Day report says the SIU told Parliament’s Scopa yesterday it would also be making recommendations for delinquency referrals of the previous board in an effort to clean up the rot that paralysed SAA’s governance systems and liquidated its financial controls.

The SIU said that supply chain management processes were flouted and there were tender irregularities in a number of contracts issued.

Regarding a tyre tender valued at R218m to R375m, the SIU said one former board member had their membership withdrawn and a fine imposed by the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants and a criminal referral is possible.

There was a criminal referral of a paint tender worth R19.2m pertaining to allegations of corruption including entities, individuals and former officials.

The SIU said about 10 people could face criminal charges for fraud, corruption and facilitation of corrupt payments over a component support services contract valued at R1.2bn to R1.8bn.

Other investigations were of the procurement of security services (R953m), catering services (R85m), original equipment manufacturer-approved avionic parts (R5m) and the provision of technical spares and components in which SAA paid the supplier ‘R17m for a part that they previously bought for R8m from a UK-based company’.

In the presentation, the SIU said that as a result of state capture, some members of the accounting authority, including ex officio members, ‘failed in their fiduciary duties to properly manage the financial affairs of the institution.

According to the Business Day report, the SIU found that some of the board members benefited from the corrupt payments facilitated by at least two legal firms.

‘These payments are linked to a number of tenders awarded by SAA/SAAT (SA Airways Technical). All these contributed to the collapse of governance within SAA/SAAT,’ the SIU said in the presentation.

It is busy drafting an interim presidential report to be submitted to President Cyril Ramaphosa. SIU CEO Andy Mothibi said the focus of maladministration and corruption at SAA had been on procurement.

‘We are looking for more matters to be enrolled as investigations are finalised. We will identify employees who left, so that there is no risk of reemployment ... The possibility of re-employment should not arise because they have caused so much harm. We will be making recommendations for delinquency referrals of the previous board members,’ said Mothibi.

Full Business Day report

See also full report in The Citizen