Outa, Saapa want Dudu Myeni to be declared delinquent director for life
Johannesburg - Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni must be declared a delinquent director for the rest of her life for allegedly plunging the national airline into financial chaos during her six-year tenure at the helm, according to the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the SAA Pilots Association (Saapa).
On Thursday, Myeni - during her second day of trial in a civil claim filed against her by the two organisations - was again fingered in the illegal appointment of a “questionable middleman”, BnP Capital, into SAA’s plans for the recapitalisation of the national airliner’s R15 billion debt.
Earlier, Outa and Saapa led evidence that Myeni - allegedly acting on the instructions of former president Jacob Zuma - scuppered a business deal between SAA and Emirates which could have provided the national airline with annual profits of R1.4bn.
Myeni’s board was also accused of having made overpayments to several companies which conducted business with SAA.
The Ernest and Young report presented in court showed that most of those companies were not properly procured to provide services to SAA.
In court, Outa and Saapa legal counsel Carol Steinberg asked for a harsher sentence against Myeni.
“I know that the minimum sentence that the court can determine for a person to be declared a delinquent director is seven years. We have revealed for instances which proved grounds for Ms Myeni to be declared a delinquent director.
“The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare Ms Myeni a delinquent director for the rest of her life,” Steinberg said.
Outa and Saapa also urged the court - if it finds Myeni guilty - to refer its findings to the National Prosecuting Authority for criminal prosecution.
Detailing the illegal appointment of BnP, Steinberg explained that Myeni’s board overlooked the role of SA’s major banks to provide much funding needed to service SAA’s debts.
She also said that the appointment of BnP Capital as transaction adviser happened without a proper procurement process governing all state-owned entities.
“The extension of BnP’s contract to include the sourcing of R15bn for SAA, with a substantial commission, (was) again in breach of procurement requirements,” submitted Steinberg.
She further highlighted that Myeni voted in favour of a R49.9 million cancellation fee to BnP despite the fact that it did not have a valid financial service provider licence. Outa and Saapa alleged that Myeni excluded SAA treasury department in her dealings.
While it is unclear if BnP will take the stand to answer to the allegations when Myeni makes her submissions, Steinberg said it was through Cynthia Stimpel, former SAA group treasurer’s intervention that Outa launched an urgent application to stop the BnP deal and saved SAA tens of millions of rand.