Dudu Myeni on Zuma, Agrizzi and being cast as the enemy
Politics / 13 October 2019, 07:48am / Sifiso Mahlangu and Siyabonga Mkwanazi
Former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni says Jacob Zuma has been subjected to a barrage of attacks, but she is adamant that none of these allegations have been proven.
Myeni has known Zuma for 30 years and the two have strong ties.
“I have known president Zuma for many, many years. Long before he was the deputy president of South Africa. Through this journey, we have been friends, and I have worked as board chairperson of his foundation.
“Zuma has been the object of speculation, slander and allegations for many years. Of course none of those things, allegations have been proven. People have attempted destroying me to get to him,” said Myeni.
Myeni was accused by former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi of taking thousands of rand in bribes and receiving gifts. But Myeni has denied these allegations.
She says Agrizzi is racist and more will come out soon against him.
“I have taken note of Mr Agrizzi’s allegations. There is so much that will come out on Mr Agrizzi when he is cross-examined. I will also remind him of the conversation he and I once had in a flight to Joburg. He is a self-confessed racist and liar.
“If Agrizzi bought me a bag at Sandton City, the cameras will be able to confirm this. If he did meet me at the hotels, as he says he did, the cameras will reveal him handing over bags to me. It’s a pity that Gavin Watson is not alive to hear his version of the story,” said Myeni.
Agrizzi has named other top politicians and senior officials in government as having received bribes from Bosasa’s coffers.
Although Myeni didn’t want to give her response to the Zondo Commission, she has directed media queries to her lawyers.
When asked if she will take the stand, a defiant Myeni said: “I’ve been exposing the corruption performed by corporate giants at SAA for many years, but you never reported on that. Who do you think has the big tenders at SAA?
“That is why I’ve been made the enemy. Why are black pilots still paid lower than white pilots? Go and look at my submissions in Scopa (Standing Committee on Public Accounts). This fight is older than this commission,” said Myeni.
She has defended her role at SAA. For years she has been accused of bringing SAA to its knees, and the company has incurred billions of rand in bailouts over the years.
“Since SAA started losing money in the early 90s, why is it that Trevor Manuel, all of the boards of SAA, all of the ministers since 1994 are not declared delinquent directors? Will Saki Macozoma, Cheryl Coroulus and Coleman Andrews be declared delinquent directors?” asked Myeni.
Civil society group the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has taken Myeni to court to be declared a delinquent director.
This would prevent her from serving on any board as a director.
But a defiant Myeni said she would fight this.
The case has been delayed in the High Court in Pretoria for several reasons.
Myeni had first dropped her previous lawyer Dan Mantsha, then she said she did not have money for transport, but the judge still allowed the matter to be rolled over to court for the next day.
Her new counsel said he would need more time to prepare before the matter is heard.
“I sent the Standing Committee on Finance and Scopa 13 detailed forensic reports on the corruption at SAA. They have not acted.
“Outa is playing politics. One day, all South Africans will see that,” Myeni.
The North Gauteng High Court will hear the case later this month. Outa said Myeni was responsible for the trouble at SAA.
She chaired the board of SAA for several years, and it was during this time that it experienced heavy financial losses.
Myeni served in public institutions for some time before she was appointed to the SAA Board in 2009.
Other than serving on SAA as a non-executive director, she also served on the Mhlathuze Water Board.
She had sat on the board as chairperson for several years.
Myeni had also been involved in various business interests.
But political parties want her to account for what has happened at SAA.
During the inquiry into Eskom in Parliament, Myeni failed to appear and give evidence after she said she was unwell.
This related to the evidence given by former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi that he was invited by Myeni to Zuma’s presidential house in Durban where he was told to fire certain executives at the power utility.
The inquiry completed its work without hearing Myeni’s version of events and handed its report to the Zondo Commission.