SACCA has claimed that life at the embattled SAA was much better under the leadership of former chairperson Dudu Myeni. Picture: Bheki Radebe/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) has claimed that life at the embattled South African Airways (SAA) was much better under the leadership of former chairperson Dudu Myeni and that Myeni has been made a scapegoat for the airline’s historical failures.

Secretary-general of SACCA Mpho Moikangoa told Independent Media that current board acting chairperson Thandeka Mgoduso interfered in operational matters at the airline and had been involved in the improper awarding of an SAA tender to a company called 21st Century.

He said that they had raised the issue about Mgoduso with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan but no action had been taken and a blind eye was turned on the alleged illegal awarding of the tender to 21st Century. 

Moikangoa also alleged that Gordhan was working in cahoots with the South African Airways Pilots Association and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) against Myeni.  

Both organisations have gone to court to try and have Myeni declared a delinquent director.

On Myeni, Moikangoa said: “She knew what she was doing, she was very clear about policies, very clear about transformation. In Dudu’s (as board chairperson) time there was proper structure and respect for stakeholders, the unions were respected. There’s nothing there now. You write to the current board today and they don’t respond to you.”

He said that it was impossible for Myeni to bring the national carrier to its knees alone because she was not so powerful as to be able to run SAA to the ground. Moikangoa adds that a lot of wrongdoings that occurred during Myeni’s tenure were as a result of a lack of support from the board of that time. 

He said that the airline had also lost a lot of money during the tenure of Andrew Coleman, Saki Macozoma and Cheryl Carolus in the chairperson’s seat, but the blame for all of the airline’s woes were being placed squarely at Myeni’s feet. 

“People have been corrupt since a long time ago but now they want a target to use and it becomes Dudu Myeni. 

“It is not a one-man event that SAA is where it is today. Why does the shoe fit only one person, they should act on the problems at SAA historically and not only start with Myeni. People must not be fork-tongued,” said Moikangoa.  

He also said that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan had unions that he gave ample time to such as the South African Airways Pilots Association while he shunned the likes of SACCA. 

“He met us only once but he met with other unions several times, and now he completely refuses to meet with us. He is dismissive and he does not want to engage (with us),” said Moikangoa. 

The SAA and the Department of Public Enterprises have not yet responded at the time of publishing.

Political Bureau