Am I on trial chairperson? Dudu Myeni asks State Capture Inquiry
Johannesburg - Controversial former SA Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni on Wednesday refused to answer a number of questions at the commission of inquiry into state capture fearing she could incriminate herself.
Evidence leader Kate Hofmeyr struggled to extract answers from the former Mhlathuze Water chairperson during a dramatic day at the inquiry, where Myeni gave evidence remotely after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for Covid-19.
After a barrage of questions from Hofmeyr, Myeni fired her own at commission head Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo: “Am I on trial chairperson?”
Justice Zondo responded that she was not on trial.
Many of Hofmeyr’s questions were followed by Myeni’s standard reply: “May I not answer that question in case I incriminate myself”.
However, after initially responding to a question about her CV by stating that she would not answer it out of fear of incriminating herself, Myeni addressed her qualifications.
”My CV does not state that I have that qualification. My CV does not look like that. In my CV it’s very explicit that I studied but didn’t complete it,” said Myeni, responding to Hofmeyr’s questions about the status of her Bachelor of Administration degree at the University of Zululand (UniZulu).
She asked Hofmeyr: “By whose standard are you asking that question?”
Myeni maintained that she wrote her CV in her own way and that her focus is fighting poverty, inequality as a woman leader and that she never sat down to see how other people write their own CVs.
According to Myeni, her CV is written according to her own standard.
”Whose standard must my CV copy?”
She explained that enrolling at UniZulu was a big achievement as a black woman especially since she started studying after marriage and indicated that she passed her first and second year.
She accused the commission of trying to put her in bad light in that she should have followed the western standard of writing a CV.
Another contentious question she first refused to answer with her standard response was whether she understood the crime of fraud.
”Ms Myeni, do you know what fraud is? Do you know that fraud is a crime?” asked Hofmeyr.
Myeni responded: “As a responsible citizen, it is known I know what the definition of fraud and what fraud means”.
Justice Zondo also cautioned Myeni against her standard response without providing reasons.
”It’s not enough to say you won’t answer; you must also give the basis,” he said.
Myeni said the reason she did not want to use the words “refuse” was due to her respect for the commission.
She defended her tenure as SAA chairperson, saying she did everything she ought to have done to discharge responsibilities as part of a collective.
Myeni will continue giving evidence on Thursday.