Suspended South African Airways CEO resigns

APRIL 24, 2015

Suspended South African Airways (SAA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Monwabise Kalawe, has reportedly resigned with immediate effect. He will now receive a payout in lieu of his three months notice and be paid out for his outstanding leave, plus another three months salary for agreeing to leave with immediate effect.

Kalawe was suspended last year pending the finalisation of an investigation into serious allegations of misconduct. The process was overseen by an independent external chairperson, Advocate Nazeem Cassim.

At the time, SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali confirmed that a SAA board of directors meeting decided to institute an inquiry into Kalawe. Tlali says a statement on the CEO resignation will be issued later this morning.

Appointment

Kalawe was appointed as the SAA CEO designate in April 2013 after the Department of Public Enterprises Minister’s challenge to the SAA Board of Directors to continue to focus on improving SAA’s governance.

“The Board worked tirelessly to find a suitable leader who will lead by example and stabilise the internal environment whilst working towards ensuring good corporate governance within the airline,” said Dudu Myeni, who was acting Chairperson of the SAA Board of Directors, said at the time.

“Kalawe will also lead SAA, as a strategic national asset, towards contributing to the socio-economic development of the country and the continent.”

Three weeks ago, Kalawe reportedly claimed in a Labour Court application that SAA chair, Myeni, had changed a board resolution because she wanted to try and get a bribe from an airline manufacturer. She denied the claim.

Last week, the parties started an arbitration process that led to this settlement. During the arbitration hearings it became clear that the relationship between Kalawe and SAA had irretrievably broken down.

The chair of the hearing, Advocate Cassim, then urged the two parties to try and find a settlement to avoid a lengthy delay and more legal costs.

As a result, Kalawe has agreed to resign as both CEO and as a director with immediate effect.