Politics / 31 December 2019, 06:53am / BALDWIN NDABA
Johannesburg - Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni will face an uphill battle in the New Year to clear her name of allegations of corruption lodged against her by Outa (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse). In her bid to dismiss the allegations, Myeni recently filed a lawsuit of R8million against Outa.
Ironically, she did so at the end of last month while also making an application before Judge Ronel Tolmay to expunge an affidavit she made in June 2017 in which she admitted several irregularities in awarding a tender to BnP Capital while she was the national carrier’s chairperson. However, the application failed.
In her lawsuit, Myeni claims that Outa had defamed her character when it published on October 3 that she was responsible for the loss of R10.5billion at SAA. The tweet further alleged that she had approved an illegal R15bn BnP Capital contract and was also responsible for paying BnP Capital a R50m cancellation fee.
“This statement was published in the week leading up to the start of the now much-publicised case at the High Court in Pretoria, wherein Outa seeks to have me declared a delinquent director under Section 162 of the Companies Act 2008 over a number of issues that pertain to my tenure as chairperson of the board of SAA,” Myeni said.
“The tweet forms part of a series of numerous extremely slanderous and vexatious statements made by Outa on various public platforms intended to vilify me, assassinate my character and injure my reputation,” she said.
She added that there was no evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, that could prove any of the allegations.
“There has been no investigation or any other legal process that has made findings that would render the statements as true or lawfully made. I bring this application to protect my constitutional rights and to bring an end to the unlawful conduct and violations of my dignity perpetuated by Outa against me through the publication of this particular defamatory statement,” Myeni said.
She wants the court to force Outa to delete the statement from its Twitter account and all platforms where it has been published, and to order Outa to publish a statement on their Twitter account “unconditionally withdrawing the statement on the grounds that it is false”.
While a date for the hearing on Myeni’s application has yet to be set, she is due in court for trial on January 27 to defend Outa and the SAA Pilot Association’s application to have her declared a delinquent director.
Myeni has already lost three applications- one being when the court failed to expunge the damning affidavit she made on June 19, 2017.
Myeni claimed that she was not aware of the contents of the plea, saying her previous attorneys did not consult with her properly or explain its legal implications.
In delivering her judgment, Judge Ronel Tolmay relied heavily on the affidavit of Myeni’s former attorney, George van Niekerk.
In his affidavit, Van Niekerk gave the court a detailed account of their consultation with Myeni, saying they first met for consultation on May 25, 2017.
He said the consultation lasted for more than three hours.
He said after that consultation they proceeded with drafting the plea.
Van Niekerk told the court that they had forwarded the draft plea to Myeni and, according to him, Myeni had fully understood what was contained in it.