SAA Refutes Food Contamination Claims

South African Airways(SAA) can’t seem to take a break from the limelight. This time they are being accused of contaminating their Halaal food with pork.

These claims have been denied by SAA spokesperson, Tlali Tlali as well as the Muslim Judicial Council. Either way, this calls for yet another slam to the SAA brand as the airline company is crashing down.

SAA’s Bumpy Ride

The airline company has been in the news a lot over the past few months, with their R3 billion bailout. This comes after their R2.2 billion handout in June by the National Treasury. This was in order for SAA to settle their outstanding debt with Standard Chartered.

Over and above this, SAA still owes a whopping R5.1 billion to leading national banks, Nedbank, Standard Bank and ABSA.

Although the airline company has been granted the ridiculous R3 billion bailout, SAA runs at a R350 million loss each month.

According to a report by the Sunday Times, SAA many even be moved from the National Treasury to the Department of Transport.

If this move goes ahead, various leading banks might recall the R8 billion that SAA owes.

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Halaal Food Speculations

There has been recent reports that Air Chefs, SAA’s official catering company, has been contaminating the Halaal kitchen with pork.

Tlali Tlali however, has said that a thorough investigation has been conducted and he can confirm that it is a rumour spread by ‘disgruntled employees’.

Local news network, IOL News, allegedly spoke to three anonymous employees who work at the Air Chefs at the Cape Town International Airport.

These employees explained their concern regarding the situation happening in the Air Chefs kitchen.

One anonymous employee said that the kitchen did not follow correct Halaal measures at all.

“It is not right. I am a Christian and it is not fair for this to go on. I am so sorry for putting it like this, but they put pork in the bain maries, walk through the Halaal kitchen and then leave it there.”

This Is What SAA Had To Say

Despite all the speculation, SAA issued a statement where they reassured their Muslim customers. SAA has said that their food meets “the highest Halaal standards”.

“In our view, this seems to be the work of a few disgruntled employees who’s intention is nothing but to bring the company into disrepute and we reject these claims as baseless as ones that are motivated by nothing but malice,” explains Tlali Tlali.

According to the spokesperson, the Muslim Judicial Council received calls alerting them to Air Chefs. The MJC then did an audit of the kitchen, and according to Tlali, found the kitchen compliant to Halaal standards.

“The facility was found compliant to halaal requirements and was given the highest possible rating of ‘extremely efficient.”

SAA has since blamed the newspaper for publishing a “sensational report”. “The MJC is a highly respected body in the Muslim community and the story published casts aspersions on their independence and integrity,” concludes Tlali Tlali.

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