South African Airways (SAA) chief executive Siza Mzimela resigned from the embattled government-owned airline on Monday, said the office of Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.
"Yes we have received the resignation. We have accepted the resignation, but it was not with immediate effect," said Gigaba's spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete.
"She will remain with us for some weeks until we find a suitable person to act in the interim."
Mzimela was appointed CEO in February 2010.
SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali could not confirm the resignation when contacted for comment.
The Business Day website reported on Monday that Mzimela had described her resignation to her staff as "not a random move".
"I have given this decision careful thought and feel that now is the best time to relinquish my position as your CEO and allow somebody else to pilot the company into the future," she was quoted by the website.
Mzimela's resignation comes weeks after SAA's chairwoman Cheryl Carolus and six board members resigned.
Gigaba said he had only learnt about the mass resignation from media reports.
SAA was expected to report a R1.25-billion loss for the year ended March 31, when it holds its annual general meeting next week.
Last week, the airline won support from National Treasury after hard negotiations between it and the public enterprises department to support the airline, which according to the previous board has a debt to equity ratio of -359 percent, the website reported.
Last week, Treasury agreed to a R5-billion guarantee to enable SAA to borrow from financial markets.
Edited by: Sapa
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