Although the national airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Sakhile Reiling could not be drawn into discussing the matter, The Voice can confirm that she recently suspended two Directors for gross mismanagement pending investigations.

This follows an incident in which a Johannesburg bound Air Botswana flight carrying 50 passengers returned to land at SSKI soon after take off for a change of aircrafts.

Asked to elaborate on the incident which happened two weeks ago and the subsequent suspension of her managers Reiling’s curt reply was: “It’s an internal matter about which I do not wish to comment.”

The Voice investigations however revealed that the two Directors, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lempaletse (Director Flight Operations) and Lieutenant Colonel Johnson Selerio (Director Maintenance and Engineering) were slapped with letters of suspension on Monday following allegations of gross mismanagement.

Meanwhile Captain Mulalu Dick and Albert Nshakashogwe have been appointed to act for Lempaletse and Selerio respectively.

A senior source within AB has since revealed to The Voice that Lempaletse will be called for a disciplinary hearing after AB management accused him of failing to manage flight operations.

Selerio on the other hand is accused of neglecting the maintenance of aircrafts.

This comes after the national airline flights consistently failed airworthiness inspections by International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO.

“The flight operations department has pilots, cabin crew and dispatch.

Lempaletse’s duty is to provide pilots and cabin crew to the line of service delivery but he is said to have failed,” said a senior official at AB who asked for his name to be withheld.

He is also alleged to have failed to ensure that the aircrafts are maintained as per the AB maintenance schedule.

Our sources further disclosed that the suspended duo incompetencies have contributed to the ongoing service delivery issues at AB.

Flight delays, cancellations, reputation and financial losses due to mismanagement are some of the identified issues that led to the two officers suspension, The Voice has been reliably informed.

Sources further revealed that under the leadership of the two suspended officials AB’s performance has been allegedly declining so much that staff is worried about the upcoming International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit and (IOSA) renewal audit.

AB was successfully added back into the (IATA) register last year.

This followed the successful completion of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) which is a pre-requisite for registration with IATA.

Air Botswana voluntarily resigned from IATA in 2008 after failing to close all findings of an audit in 2007.

IATA is an association representing over 200 airlines comprising 84% of total air traffic.




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