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A Win for South African Airways Staff

SAA trade unions won a crucial victory in the labour court on Friday when judge André van Niekerk set aside the retrenchment notices issued to employees by the business rescue practitioners. This further complicates the struggle over the future of SAA. Business rescue practitioners Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana are attempting to wind down the company, which would include retrenchment of all employees. Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan is opposed to the wind-down and wants to form a new airline out of the ashes of SAA. Van Niekerk said that the issuing of notices of retrenchment was “procedurally unfair” and ruled that the notices be withdrawn. The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) had argued that it was unfair for the practitioners to retrench employees before a business rescue plan had been presented.