Dudu Myeni
Dudu Myeni

Dudu Myeni is coming to court to clear her name, says legal representative

By BALDWIN NDABA Time of article published Feb 19, 2020

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Pretoria - There is no case against former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni, argued her legal counsel advocate Nqabayethu Buthelezi, moments after the Organisation Undiong Tax Abuse (Outa) and the SAA Pilots Association (Saapa) closed their main arguments against her in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Buthelezi was adamant that Myeni would take the stand on Thursday when she is expected to reply to several damning testimonies made against her by several former senior executives of SAA, including the former acting chief executive, Nico Bezuidenhout.

Outa and Saapa elected to close their case following the testimony of Bezuidenhout, former SAA chief commercial director Sylvain Bosc, former chief financial officer Wolf Meyer and former acting chief executive Thuli Mpshe.

Initially, the case was due to start on October 7, but the court heard that Myeni did not have the money to travel from KwaZulu-Natal to Pretoria for the trial - which prompted the court to postpone it to January 27.

When the trial finally resumed Myeni was not in court to help her legal counsel deal with some of the damning allegations made against her.

All the witnesses told the court that Myeni was allegedly responsible for the failed R1.5 billion profit guarantee for SAA if they had signed a deal with Emirates in June 2015.

According to SAA executives, the deal would have allowed the airline to gain an estimated profit of R1.5bn if the deal was concluded on June 16, 2015.

The court heard that, at the time of the proposed deal, SAA was operating at a loss for its Joburg/Abu Dhabi International route, which allegedly drew the ire of the National Treasury.

The executives also said that Myeni allegedly thwarted a multibillion-rand swap transaction with Airbus for the acquisition of five A330 aircraft that the national airline had intended to use for international routes to Dubai and other parts of the Middle East, Europe and London.

Meyer told the court that former finance minister Nhalanhl Nene had in 2015 given SAA the green light to clinch the deal with Airbus, but Myeni allegedly wanted to rope in a company of her choice to conclude the deal on behalf of the airline.

On Tuesday, Buthelezi was adamant that the executives’ evidence was insufficient for the court to rule in favour of Outa and Saapa.

“They said they were going to lead evidence on the Ernest and Young report as well as a BnP Capital contract. They closed their case before doing so. They claimed that my client stole money, but failed to show it in their evidence. 

“She is coming on Thursday to rebut all allegations against her,” Buthelezi said.

Political Bureau

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