Former SAA board member Dudu Myeni on Monday failed to appear at the Pretoria High Court where Outa and the SAA Pilots’ Association (SAAPA)is attempting to have her declared a delinquent director.
According to Outa, Myeni called their legal team on Monday morning to say she could not afford to travel to Pretoria for the court case. Judge Ronel Tolmay postponed the case until Tuesday to give Myeni a last chance to appear or face the prospect of having the case heard in her absence.
SAA and Air Chefs (Myeni served on the boards of both SOEs) and the Minister of Finance are cited as respondents in the case which seeks to block Myeni from holding similar positions in any company. Should the application succeed, it could have serious implications for Myeni, who is currently listed as a director at 13 entities.
Despite the fact that the SAA had shown a profit in the 2009/10 and 2011/12 financial years, during Myeni's time on the board (between 2012 and 2017) the state-owned entity racked up losses in excess of R16.844bn. Myeni was appointed as a non-executive director in 2009 and was appointed acting chairperson of the board in December 2012. In January 2015 she was appointed the board chairperson, a position she held until the end of her term in 2017.
The application by Outa and SAAPA was launched in March 2017 after the organisation managed to halt a dodgy deal worth R256 million between SAA and BnP Capital in 2016.
Outa's court application against Myeni is based on the argument that BnP Capital had been irregularly appointed as a transaction adviser and that the extension of the contract in 2016 to enable it to source R15 billion in funding for the airline was unlawful because the company had by then lost its licence as a Financial Services Provider.
Outa further contends the R49.9 million cancellation fee paid to BnP was irregular and unlawful.