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Malema instructs lawyers to do everything possible to reverse sale of SAA

EFF leader Julius Malema on Monday slammed the recent sale of South African Airways to private consortium Takatso. File photo.
EFF leader Julius Malema on Monday slammed the recent sale of South African Airways to private consortium Takatso. File photo.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

The EFF on Monday said it had instructed its lawyers to challenge the sale of loss-making SA Airways (SAA). 

In February, the government announced it had concluded the sale of a 51% interest to private consortium Takatso without disclosing the price of the sale. 

Last week, SowetanLIVE's sister publication BusinessLIVE reported that the National Treasury said it was not consulted on the sale of the stake, which it said cost R51.

Addressing media on Monday, Malema slammed the transaction.  

“We condemn and oppose the disposal of SA Airways because its disposal is not justifiable and corrupt. There is absolutely no rationality in selling off an airline for R51 to people who are linked to and controlled by the white capitalist establishment.   

“We will do everything in our power to reverse the sale of SAA because it is evident that all state-owned companies will first be made to not function well and thereafter given for free to the white capitalist establishment.”  

Last week, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan defended the government’s decision to privatise SAA, saying it had become a drain on the fiscus having been continuously bailed out and failed to make a profit since 2011.

Gordhan, along with finance minister Enoch Godongwana, told the parliamentary standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) the government had spent R49bn on SAA since 2006 in bailouts. 

Malema said the sale was an indication that South Africans were being taken for a ride and undermined even as their living conditions were barely improving, citing rising levels of unemployment and poverty.   

“In the middle of job losses and rising poverty levels, the prices of all necessities are rising and this includes the prices of fuel. Rising fuel and food prices worsen the living conditions of our people and the government has no willingness and capacity to combat rising prices that worsen the living conditions of our people.”   

He slammed the government for taking what he called an “unsustainable path of privatisation of state-owned companies”.     

“The load-shedding and crises in Eskom are purposefully created to justify the subsequent disposal of Eskom to the greedy white capitalist class,” said Malema.

“State assets are being sold to friends and we can’t allow that.”

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