Dudu Myeni fights to stay on Jacob Zuma Foundation board
Johannesburg - A showdown is looming in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday as former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni begins her final battle to retain her job as executive chairperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation.
Myeni has been at the helm of the Zuma Foundation since September 2008, but that came under threat when Outa and the SAA Pilots Association (SAAPA) filed papers in the High Court asking it to declare her a delinquent director in March 2017.
The parties are alleging that Myeni is responsible for plunging the national airline into financial crisis during her six-year tenure as chairperson of the SAA board from 2012.
Judge Ronel Tolmay - who is presiding in the court application - spent almost five weeks hearing evidence from the warring parties, and now it is up to their lawyers to address the judge in their bid to secure a positive outcome for their clients.
Myeni’s counsel, advocate Nqabayethu Buthelezi, has already indicated his intention to ask the court to exonerate his client in his bid to ensure that Myeni retains her job at the Jacob Zuma Foundation, and other boards of which she is still a member.
In his shortened address last week, Buthelezi wanted to argue that Myeni was hauled before court on four allegations.
These allegations stated that Myeni was responsible for blocking the R1.5billion SAA/Emirates deal.
The parties claimed that she also prevented the clinching of an aircraft leasing deal between SAA and Airbus. if the deal had succeeded Had the deal succeeded, five Airbus planes would have been used for SAA international routes. Outa and SAAPA also alleged that Myeni was responsible for the “illegal” appointment of BnP Capital as SAA’s transaction adviser.
They accused Myeni of having failed to act on audit firm Ernst & Young’s report, which found that most of the companies which did business with SAA were not properly procured to provide services to the national airline.
Outa and SAAPA, however, did not lead evidence on the illegal appointment of BnP Capital and the auditing firm’s report.
Now Buthelezi is due to argue that Myeni should be cleared on all charges due to her accusers’ alleged failure to lead all the evidence against her.
Outa and SAAPA’s legal counsel, advocate Carol Steinberg, is to oppose Myeni’s bid.
Steinberg reacted angrily to Buthelezi’s submission last week. She said their decision not to lead evidence on the two remaining allegations against Myeni was due to them being satisfied that they had led enough evidence to convince the court to declare Myeni a delinquent director.
When the trial began, Steinberg asked the court to declare Myeni a delinquent director for the rest of her life.