South Africa: Newsflash - SAA's Would-Be Russian Funder Surfaces At State Capture Commission

Ethiopian aircraft, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam awarding trainees, First all-women crew.

Fresh evidence appears to expose BNP Capital's scheme to extract cash from South African Airways.

BNP Capital stood to rake in more than R300-million for a capital-raising deal with South African Airways and when that crashed amid a public outcry, former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni single-handedly signed off on a R49.9-million cancellation fee to the company.

Grissag AG, a company belonging to Free State businessman Pieter Van der Merwe and a Russian financier, Sergey Pokusaev, was installed into three different bids to help SAA raise R15-billion to consolidate its debt portfolio under highly questionable and controversial circumstances in 2015/2016.

Testifying at the State Capture Commission on Friday, June 14, Van der Merwe explained how a BNP Capital representative contacted him to partner on the deal.

This was after two earlier bids involving Grissag were unsuccessful. Once because it had failed an SAA due diligence and a second time because National Treasury had blocked the Free State Development Corporation (FDC) from stepping outside its mandate to try and bail out SAA through a partnership with Grissag.

Van der Merwe took the Commission through each of the failed partnerships and then described as "false" claims by BNP Capital, a middleman, that the...

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