Comair’s culture of corruption needs urgent correction.

18 April 2024, Thursday








Comair financially bankrupt?


Not possible with Bidvest as a 29% major shareholder.

Ethically, morally and culturally bankrupt?

Yes, with Comair’s demise seeded long before the COVID -19 turbulence.

It says a lot when a major Comair shareholder, as in Allan Gray with 15 %, decides to just walk away from the company, accepting just one cent in the rand – when just eighteen months back their investment was worth over R400 million.

That is a tough call to make, but as Warren Buffets puts it:

There is never just one cockroach in the kitchen when you start looking around.

Then their CEO, Wrenelle Stander who has  over 25 years of experience in the aviation and energy industries, takes a  forced immediate walk.

JSE public listed companies such as Steinhoff and Tongaat have also recently destroyed shareholder wealth, but at very least they have remained listed on the JSE – to try to make things right – by changing their ways.

Not so for COMAIR, who via their voluntary ‘Business Rescue Coup’ together with BIDVEST, have moved to delist – and wipe out all minorities who invested in an airline which on its website explains:

 We’re committed to maintaining principles of good corporate governance and managing our business in a responsible manner: with integrity, fairness, transparency and accountability.

Their voluntary business rescue plans make a mockery of this statement.

Comair, with ex Bidvest CEO, Lindsay Ralphs the helm of the board through the business rescue process, will need to be asking some tough ethical, moral and cultural questions of themselves – as to why they chose not to make a  ‘fair and reasonable offer’ to their shareholders.

It’s not too late for Comair to take this opportunity to make things right – change their ways.

As business guru Peter Drucker states:

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

Indeed, culture forms the bedrock of Sustained Success and Significance – it’s called GREATNESS.

At a time when corruption has badly affected BRAND SOUTH AFRICA’S CULTURE – and President Cyril Ramaphosa is giving it his all to ‘turn the tide’ – corporate business ethics need to be more guarded, and more accounted, not flouted.

Corporate South Africa must lead better.

Let’s hope.


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Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Author, Performance Consultant to Business & Sports Teams – and Life Coach to those on a journey to self-actualisation.

His game- changing THE GAME PLAN METHOD, is helping both teams and individuals throughout South Africa to achieve their greatest potential.