South African Express was finally placed in final liquidation by the South African High Court on Wednesday, a long-awaited decision since the cancellation of the airline’s licenses and operating rights by the International Air Services Council (IASC) of South Africa last July, due to the failure of a second sale attempt.
The state-owned regional carrier had filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2020, and has not flown since its provisional liquidation in April 2020.
The bankruptcy of South African Express was due to a combination of rampant corruption, fraud and years of mismanagement, according to a report by the South African Judicial Commission of Inquiry earlier this year. Public funds were diverted from the coffers, funds were paid out without services being rendered, etc. Several irregularities were revealed by the commission earlier this year. To all this must be added the consequences of Covid-19 and the fact that the government was not able to provide post-commercialization funding to save South African Express due to “budgetary constraints”.
It should be remembered that the 691 employees of South African Express were left without compensation.