South African Airways names Monwabisi Kalawe new CEO

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South African Airways (SAA) has appointed Monwabisi Kalawe as its fourth chief executive in six months.

Kalawe takes over from interim chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout, whose appointment followed the dismissal of Vuyisile Kona in February 2013 and the resignation of Siza Mzimela in October 2012. Bezuidenhout is also CEO of SAA's low-cost subsidiary Mango.

The new chief executive joins SAA after holding several senior positions at Airports Company South Africa, state-owned utilities firm Eskom, and Nestle South Africa.

"The board worked tirelessly to find a suitable leader who will lead by example and stabilise the internal environment whilst working towards ensuring good corporate governance within the airline," says Dudu Myeni, acting SAA chairperson.

"Kalawe will also lead SAA, as a strategic national asset, towards contributing to the socio-economic development of the country and the continent."

South Africa's flag carrier submitted a long-term turnaround strategy to the country's Department of Public Enterprises earlier this month. The airline has come under fire from rivals over a 5 billion rand ($600 million) government guarantee received in October 2012.