Former South African Airways (SAA) Chief Financial Officer Phumeza Nhantsi has defended the decision to appoint BnP Capital to source a R15 billion consolidated loan for the national airline in 2015.
Testifying before the Zondo Commission that’s probing alleged state capture in Parktown, Johannesburg, Nhantsi outlined, what she claims, were the difficult choices the airline had to make in securing the money.
She disputed the testimony of SAA’s former Head of Financial Risk Management Cynthia Stimpel, who last week told the commission that banks were the safest option for part of the proposed loan.
Nhantsi says they opted for the little known company because banks were concerned about SAA’s financial performance and gave many conditions for the credit.
“They even said in the letter to National Treasury that they are now feeling as if they are shareholders of SAA, and they want shareholders to come to the party. The second issue was related to corporate governance where they said there are so many people in acting positions, and the third issue that the banks consistently raised at that time is the board members, there were only three board members. The banks at the time told us that until these are resolved, they will not extend and roll over the loans beyond three months,” says Nhantsi.
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