According to the sources, a senior South African Airways pilot has been asked to resign from the airline after it was found that he had flown commercial flights for more than 20 years with fraudulent paperwork.
SAA said it discovered William Chandler's paperwork was forged after a "reportable incident" during a flight from South Africa to Germany.
The airline has filed criminal charges and is seeking "millions of rand" from Mr Chandler.
According to the mail and the guardian, the airline discovered that William Chandler’s airline transport licence was a forgery during an investigation this week.
SAA said in a statement that, after investigating the incident, it found Mr Chandler had only a commercial pilot's licence. He later resigned.
Airlines require pilots to have an airline transport pilot licence (ATPL) for long-haul international flights.
SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said, "It is an SAA requirement that all pilots obtain an ATPL license within five years of their employment as pilots at SAA. This is linked to Senior First Officer status and forms part of their conditions of employment as regulated in the SAA Pilots Regulating Agreement. Any pilot failing to obtain this license will have their employment terminated with the airline."
The airline, one of Africa's largest, has lost money every year since 2011 and survives on government support.