South Africa - Pretoria - 20 February 2020 - Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni appears in the North Gauteng High Court, in the Palace of Justice defending a legal action by Outa and the SAA Pilot Association to declare her a delinquent director while at the helm at the nation airliner for six years. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)
South Africa - Pretoria - 20 February 2020 - Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni appears in the North Gauteng High Court, in the Palace of Justice defending a legal action by Outa and the SAA Pilot Association to declare her a delinquent director while at the helm at the nation airliner for six years. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)

Dudu Myeni loses bid to suspend delinquency order against her

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Feb 15, 2021

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FORMER SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni has lost her bid to suspend the execution of a life-time delinquency order issued against her in the North Gauteng High Court in May last year.

Last week, Myeni made an urgent bid before the full bench of the High Court asking it to suspend the order, saying she has lodged appeal papers in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Myeni asked the court to note that Judge Ronel Tolmay had erred in her conclusion that Outa (the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse ) and the SAA Pilots' Association (Saapa) had in fact established exceptional circumstances to succeed in their application.

Myeni’s legal counsel, advocate Dali Mpofu, argued that she had resigned her memberships to several boards in the country.

Mpofu also indicated that Myeni has lodged an appeal in the SCA to overturn the May 27, 2020 ruling against her.

But this was rejected by Outa legal counsel advocate Carol Steinberg, who argued that Myeni failed to lodge appeal papers with the SCA in January this year after Judge Tolmay dismissed her leave to appeal application in December last year.

Steinberg argued that Myeni had failed to meet the prescribed time to lodge an appeal in the SCA. Steinberg said Myeni had filed a condonation, saying it was likely not to succeed in the SCA.

“Ms Myeni did everything in her power to obstruct this outcome and engaged in repeated conduct throughout the trial which was calculated to cause maximum delay and disruption.

“Before addressing the merits of the appeal, we highlight that Ms Myeni has failed to file a petition in the Supreme Court of Appeal in time or in any condonation application. Even if Ms Myeni were to file a belated petition, coupled with an application for condonation (which has not yet been done), this would not suspend the delinquency order,” Steinberg said

She said unless and until condonation was granted, a late application for leave to appeal does not suspend anything.

In the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday, the full bench agreed with Outa and Saapa’s submission.

In a unanimous decision, Judge President Dunstan Mlambo said: “The application to appeal in the present matter has lapsed. In order for the application for leave to be revived, condonation will have to be granted by the SCA.

“Until such time, there is no application as contemplated by section 18 (5) of the Superior Courts Act, and the ineluctable consequence is that the section 18 (4) is not competent.”

Judge Mlambo said they further held the view that although the length of the delay in filling the application for leave to appeal to the SCA was negligible, “having read the principal judgment of the court a quo and the judgment in the application for leave to appeal, the prospects of Myeni succeeding with her condonation application to the SCA are rather slim. The appeal must clearly be struck off,” he said.

Myeni was ordered to pay the legal costs of Outa and Saapa.

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