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Cape Town - Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) welcomed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s confirmation that Dudu Myeni would not be serving another term on the board of South African Airways (SAA).

Dudu Myeni was appointed to the SAA board in October 2009 and chaired the board since 2012, however, the one-year extension to her term ends on 31 August this year and Minister Gigaba has indicated that a new board chair will then be appointed at the SAA AGM in August

OUTA Chief Operating Officer, Ben Theron said: “SAA has stumbled from crisis to crisis under the leadership (or lack thereof) of the ill-equipped Dudu Myeni, forcing Treasury to bail out the embattled airline with either direct investments or guarantees.”

The statement by OUTA stated “The critical position of CEO must still be filled with a competent and knowledgeable candidate who can start turning this organisation around.  This position is too critical to be a filled with an incompetent employee.”

According to the statement, SAA has continuously posted losses during Myeni’s tenure, the airline was repeatedly bailed out by taxpayers.

“In December 2014, the airline’s administration had to be transferred from the Ministry of Public Enterprises to the Ministry of Finance to stabilise the finances. Myeni lied to her board and the Minister regarding the procurement of airplanes and authorised the payment of exorbitant cancellation fees to questionable suppliers,” the documents stated. 

Legal proceedings was launched against Myeni in June by OUTA and the South African Airways Pilots Association, asking the pretoria High Court to declare her a delinquent director, this would then bar her from serving as a director, a senior executive or on any boards for at least seven years. She denied any wrongdoing and OUTA’s case continues.

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In November last year the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) presented a compliance notice against Myeni, this was after finding that she breached the duties of a director and leading them to ordering her to formally notify the SAA board and the Minister of Finance of this.

Although doing this, she tried to get it overturned but she was unsuccessful as this was denied. “She is not fit to hold any public office whatsoever. The sooner she leaves the better,” Theron added.