Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
21 May 2017
11:57 am

SAA employee ‘forges signatures’ for tender, goes on big spending spree – report

Citizen Reporter

She reportedly used her 'loot' to buy properties, cars and a motorbike after manipulating a tender award, explaining she'd been feeling 'emotional'.

SAA flight.

According to The Sunday Independent, a multimillion-rand SAA tender was manipulated fraudulently by an employee earning only R26 000 a month, and the only sanction she received was a written warning.

The paper reports it saw a report by a “top law firm” that investigated a R13.6 million CCTV tender that was awarded to Vusubheki Management Services in February without following procurement processes.

Sourcing specialist Naomi Kwinda has been accused of “compiling a fake document with forged signatures of the airline’s senior management”.

The tender reportedly never went to the bid adjudication committee, nor was it signed by the CEO.

After it was awarded, Kwinda allegedly went on a shopping spree to buy “several properties, cars, including a Range Rover” and a motorbike.

They published a photo of her from Facebook on what they allege is the pricy motorcycle she purchased. It appears to be a Harley-Davidson.

The woman’s Facebook account no longer appears to be publicly accessible, however.

Kwinda reportedly said in her defence to SAA that she had indeed knowingly violated the airline’s policies, but she had been going through a bad divorce and so had been emotionally unstable. This appears to have been accepted by her manager, named as Thami Sogwazile. The line manager “ignored advice to draft charges and convene a disciplinary hearing”.

Bizarrely, the written warning Kwinda received was not even on record at the airline’s human resources department, Sunday Independent discovered.

The paper further alleges that behaviour such as Kwinda’s is going unpunished at the airline because it’s “just the tip of the iceberg” as “senior executives [allegedly] turn a blind eye because they are complicit in the siphoning of SAA’s funds”.

The law firm has recommended criminal charges against Kwinda and the reclassification of the tender as irregular.

The paper could not elicit comment from the company’s directors. Kwinda did not comment either, aside from saying she was on maternity leave. SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali confirmed Kwinda still works at SAA and said the airline would only take action once management was properly made aware of the outcomes of the investigation “into suspected irregularities at certain areas of the business”.

SAA has asked for yet another government bailout after failing to maintain a positive balance sheet for years.