South Africa Airways CEO Resigns

South Africa Airways CEO Resigns

The chief executive of South Africa’s embattled national airline has quit, a week after the chairperson and seven board members walked out, a government official said on Monday.

“We have seen a letter of resignation by Siza Mzimela,” said Mayihlome Tshwete, the spokesman for the Department of Public Enterprises, which controls the airline.

Tshwete gave no reason for Mzimela’s departure, adding that her resignation has not been officially received.

Mzimela joined South African Airways in 2010, after the removal of former chief Khaya Ngqula, who was investigated for financial mismanagement.

In a letter to her staff, seen by local radio station 702, Mzimenla said her resignation was not “a random move”.

She said: “I have given this decision careful thought and feel that now is the best time to relinquish my position as your CEO and allow somebody else to pilot the company into future.”

The ailing airline, which was last week granted a $600 million cash backstop by the government to keep it afloat, was expected to post a $149 million loss, according to the Business Day daily.

The release of the airline’s financial results had been delayed.

Former chairwoman, Cheryl Carolus attributed her resignation to a breakdown in the relationship with the government, the airline’s main shareholder.

The government announced her replacement and that of the board members on the same day after her resignation.

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