Italtile issue statement in response to media article


Johannesburg; 25 January 2012:  An article was published today in Die Burger, headed “Wrakstukke lê ná ‘n jaar nog in see – Italtile wil nou ‘n hofinterdik hê”. 

Italtile Chief Financial Officer, Peter Swatton issued the following statement in response:

“Italtile is committed to assisting wherever possible in bringing closure to the investigation into the crash of its company aeroplane in February 2011;  accordingly the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has our full support.  To this extent, early in the investigation when it became apparent that the CAA lacked immediate funding, the Group offered financial assistance to facilitate the salvage operation.  It is in the interests of all involved to conclude this investigation as professionally and expeditiously as possible, and that remains our view.

I wish to state emphatically that the Group’s position on the CAA’s management of this matter is a private matter, and any such discussions as need to be held will be done so directly with the CAA and not through the media.  We repudiate in the strongest terms the allegations made in the article that the Group is contemplating obtaining an urgent court interdict against the CAA and possibly taking the matter to the High Court.  The Group is neither planning to take legal action against the CAA nor has it indicated that it will.  We are satisfied with the course of action that the CAA is currently pursuing.

For the record, the spokesperson quoted, Mr Darryl Beira was engaged as a consultant to the Group, employed in the capacity of assisting with surveying the aircraft debris field;  he is neither an employee of Italtile nor is he tasked with serving as a spokesperson for the Group.  Mr Beira’s comments are therefore not the official stance of the Group on this or any other related matter.

The salvage operation is a sensitive one, both practically, and from an emotional perspective for all the families involved.  As such, we have made every effort to ensure that the process is undertaken efficiently and sympathetically.  I wish to reiterate that Italtile is committed to the investigation being concluded in a professional manner and will continue to support and assist the CAA in all of its activities in this regard.”

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