Former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni passes on at 60

Former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni. | Simphiwe Mbokazi

Former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni. | Simphiwe Mbokazi

Published Jun 16, 2024


Durban — The family of businesswoman and former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni is in mourning following news of her passing, which was announced by the JG Zuma Foundation on Saturday.

According to the foundation’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi, Myeni, who was also the foundation’s chairperson, passed away on Friday evening.

“The foundation confirms with a heavy heart that its chairperson passed on last night,” Manyi said.

It was not immediately clear where she had died, but Manyi asked that the family be given privacy as they were grieving heavily over the loss.

“The family is still dealing with these sad developments and will not be entertaining any media queries. The foundation is requesting the media to respect the family’s position.”

Myeni, 60, had been a divisive figure, with some people blaming her for the problems at the airline while others insisted that she had been a victim of a smear campaign because of her proximity to former president Jacob Zuma.

She is understood to have been battling ill health which resulted in her court case being postponed to later this year.

Both the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Federation of Trade Unions would not be drawn into commenting on Myeni’s death.

Myeni was also involved previously with uMhlathuze Water board as its chairperson.

Her successor at the water entity, Thabi Shange, said it was sad to hear of her death.

“Although we never got to meet for a handover, the sense one got was of a warm individual, and that is why it has been saddening to hear the news of her passing, especially at such a young age,” said Shange.

She extended words of comfort to the family.

“The loss of a family member is never an easy experience, regardless of the circumstances,” said Shange.

EFF member Carl Niehaus said he had learned of Myeni’s passing through a statement by the foundation which had been circulating on social media.

“I learned of the sad news (Saturday) morning and one obviously wants to send one’s condolences to the family over what is a sad loss and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time,” said Niehaus.

He said he would not be drawn into any politics as he believed this was not an appropriate thing to do while family members were mourning the loss of a loved one.

Retired ANC activist Yatima Nahara said she had been shocked to learn of Myeni’s death as she had not taken the news of her ill health seriously.

“I learned from one of the children that she had been suffering from cancer and one obviously feels for the family over the loss.

“A few months ago the news of her health had been circulating but it was not something that one thought warranted alarm.”

Nahara, a former member of the provincial legislature, joined the chorus of people who extended words of comfort to the family.

Attempts to get comment from the ANC Women’s League were not successful. The league had been one of her key backers.

Sunday Tribune