JOHANNESBURG, State-owned South African Airways (SAA) says it will not cover up acts of criminality following media reports which appear to be based on leaked internal reports.

The SAA Board of Directors would like to assure the public that it does not condone nor will it cover up any acts of impropriety at SAA, the flag carrier said in a statement here Monday.

The board added that any action which it could take against anyone accused of criminality must have factual basis and be legally sustainable.

It is important to understand the status these reports enjoy within the business and the processes the company has embarked upon before conclusions are made on the basis of any aspect of such reports.

In addition, SAA added, investigations were previously commissioned by it to look into financial losses incurred by the company. Areas of focus included among other things, procurement (specifically contract negotiation and management) and asset management.

A number of reports were subsequently generated and must be finalized as soon as possible. The Board has looked into those reports and concluded that, as matters stand, they are incomplete.

The national carrier further stated that the process of finalizing these reports, including soliciting input from all affected parties and executive management, had since commenced. This was not only standard practice but a requirement in accordance with principles of natural justice.

Once the reports are finalised, they will be presented to the Board for consideration and action. We caution against making conclusions hastily and discourage casting aspersions against any individuals on the strength of incomplete reports, it said.

The board will inform the nation of the outcomes and any action necessary once the outstanding work has been concluded and the final reports tabled, SAA said.