SAA pilot to head 2010 World Cup move

South African Airways pilot Captain Mpho Mamashela will head the airline’s preparatory committee for the 2010 Soccer World Cup to be hosted in South Africa, SAA said. Mamashela, the first black captain at the airline, would lead a team of SAA officials to ensure the airline’s readiness for the tournament, SAA CEO Khaya Ngqula said on Wednesday.

“Mamashela will liaise directly with members of the tournament’s organising body… SAA felt it necessary to appoint a candidate with the operational knowledge and skills required to run an airline completely and efficiently, who would focus on ensuring the airline offered an exceptional experience to all visitors into South Africa during the World Cup,” Ngqula said.

Mamashela would continue interacting with SAA customers as a flying captain, while undertaking his new responsibility.

Mamashela said: “As a first contact for visitors into the country, we will ensure that we meet expectations and offer a superb experience, which is efficient, reliable and safe.”

He has been with SAA for 13 years and became the airline’s first black Captain in 2002.


Mamashela operates the airline’s Airbus 319-100 aircraft and is also the relief captain on the Airbus A340 range.