SAA pilot’s association head accused of wanting to sabotage plane

BY CHARL BOSCH - DECEMBER 7, 2015

Embattled national carrier South African Airways (SAA) has reportedly accused the head of its pilot association of leading a complot to sabotage an aircraft in an attempt to discredit a black pilot.

According to Netwerk24, the airline alleged that Captain John Harty wanted SAA technicians to fiddle with the steering system of a plane that was to be piloted by a black colleague, in order for him to be shunned.

In a statement, Harty said members of the Hawks made the revelations after taking him in for questioning last week Friday, but that no shred of evidence exist in linking him with the claims.

“Neither I nor my association will be intimidated and forced to back down in our efforts to ensure that the SAA board is replaced by people with aviation management expertise and that the CEO with appropriate skills and experience is appointed,” he said.

Harty, who has been at loggerheads with controversial SAA Chairperson Dudu Myeni over the airline’s deteriorating financial position, stated he would fully cooperate with the investigation, before describing it as bearing the hallmarks of intimidation.

Last month, an article by CityPress revealed that the struggling carrier was facing a potential loss of R4.7-billion with Myeni attributing one of the factors to be the exorbitant salaries paid to pilots.