SAA financials in the spotlight at state capture inquiry

Testimony at the State Capture Inquiry reveals alleged interference by 'Number One' in SAA business deals. 

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture inquiry's chapter on aviation has taken off.

Former president Jacob Zuma has been accused of interfering in a deal at the SAA.

A former manager is testifying at the State Capture Inquiry.

READ: SAA requests R4bn government bailout

Cynthia Stimpel testified that the airline's former chief financial officer Wolf Meyer shared details of a meeting which focused on that deal.

He was allegedly told that 'Number One' wanted a certain client to get the contract.

SAA has not made a profit since 2011.

READ: SAA gets another bailout

The airline last Friday said it needs R4-billion from the government to survive the current financial year and allow it to renegotiate loan terms with banks.

"We are currently operating at a loss and that is the background to the request we've made for R4-billion of support for the current financial year," board member Martin Kingston told a news briefing.

"We are in discussion with lenders about repaying the R3.5-billion (due in July) and extending the R9.2-billion (of other debt) over a protracted period of time.