SAA, Emirates R1.5bn contract: Treasury, ex-transport minister supported the deal
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Pretoria - The National Treasury and the national Department of Transport were fully supportive of SAA signing a R1.5bn deal with Emirates Airlines.
This was the testimony of former SAA Chief Commercial Director, Sylvain Bosc in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.
Bosc’s testimony was in support of Outa and SAA Pilots Association (SAAPA) application to the High Court in Pretoria to declare former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni a delinquent director.
The parties are accusing Myeni of plunging the national carrier into financial chaos during her six year tenure as board chairperson.
Bosc testified that he presented the proposed memorandum of understanding to the SAA board on March 14, 2015 including its details of a minimum profit of $100m (R1.5bn) per annum.
He said the entire board approved the deal, but Myeni allegedly wanted to meet with her counterpart at Emirates before signing.
“We made arrangements for such a meeting. We managed to secure a meeting for the two at the Arabian Travel Show on May 2 in Dubai. On the eve of the trip, Nico Bezuidenhout told me that Ms Myeni was not travelling with us. Bezuidenhout said we should tell the Emirates bosses that she was sick,” Bosc said.
The court heard that she allegedly provided the same excuse when Emirates CEO Tim Clarke visited Cape Town during the same month.
He said all these alleged actions of Myeni led to the cancellation of the deal on June 16, 2015 in Paris.
Bosc was adamant that SAA scored an own goal for its failure to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Emirates which could have guaranteed it an annual minimum profit of R1.5 billion.
He also said that the National Treasury had already approved the purchase of two suitable engine aeroplanes for the Joburg/Dubai routes.
Bosc said SAA had only four engines aeroplanes which were “gas guzzlers” and not suitable for the Middle East, Europe and Asia routes.
Bosc continues his testimony on Thursday.