News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
3 minute read
30 Jun 2017
12:44 pm

#SAAEmails: Forensics for Justice releases damning ‘evidence’ against Dudu Myeni

Gosebo Mathope

Forensics for Justice has released a dossier that reveals the extent of alleged rot at cash-strapped SAA.

Former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni is pictured during a press briefing at the airline carriers offices in Kempton Park, 28 October 2016. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Yesterday’s ruling by the Companies Tribunal that the compliance notice issued against South African Airways board chairperson Dudu Myeni for various charges remains effective follows a string of alleged corporate governance transgressions by the SAA chairperson.

The charges levelled against Myeni include being a delinquent director and lying to the minister of finance.

The Citizen is in possession of various emails, part of the #SAAEmails, that Myeni wrote in 2015 to various airline executives, fellow board members, the chief procurement officer, prospective services providers, as well as regulatory authorities, in which she allegedly sought to circumvent supply-chain policies.

The email correspondence and other supporting documents were made available to the public by newly formed NGO Forensics for Justice, which has so far focused on corruption and maladministration in “captured” state-owned entities.

READ MORE: WATCH: BA-flying Dudu Myeni ruffles MPs’ and media’s feathers

In the dossier dealing with SAA and Dudu Myeni, they claim to have discovered prima facie evidence of the current chairperson of board of directors at SAA allegedly being directly involved in procurement and other operational issues, which should not be the responsibility of the board of directors.

In no particular order, Myeni allegedly sent a list of 11 company names to Dr Masimba Phillip Dahwa, the head of procurement at SAA, instructing him to invite the said companies to the ‘Jet Fuel Supplier engagement’ held at a swanky hotel on the Durban south coast.

A few days later, and at Myeni’s apparent insistence, Thami Sogwazile, a commodity manager for energy and ground handling in global supply management, forwarded a “draft invitation for chairperson’s review and approval for the jet-fuel supplier engagement” to Ruth Kibuuka, the company secretary.

Yakhe Kwinana, an accountant and former board member, wrote to the chief procurement officer in September 2015: “The chairperson requested me to facilitate the award of the 15% [part of Engen] Jet Fuel to all BEE companies in your database to be held in Durban.”

The texture of financial impropriety at the cash-strapped airline is allegedly laid bare in two emails written by another attorney and current board member, Peter Tshisevhe: “The registration of the company having required to the time available … is not an urgent priority. As long as parties agree on the commercial terms.”

On September 23, 2015, Kwinana wrote to Dr Dahwa informing him: “I [Kwinana] will be buying a holding company which will hold shares on behalf of the ‘workstream’ companies. I have appointed Peter Tshisevhe, of TGR attorneys, a lawyer by profession and registered with the SAA database of legal advisers … he will sign both with SAA and Engen on behalf of the consortium.”

Tshisevhe, writing in response to The Citizen, said: ” I didn’t receive any instruction from Yakhe either verbally or in writing to represent SAA or [his client] Quintessential as I had already accepted a mandate to represent Quintessential [as per an email he sent to The Citizen].”

He added that: “My client Quintessential was never appointed on the deal by SAA.

“I cannot comment about SAA internal deliberations as I wasn’t privy to those discussions as an outsider and have no control over what people stated about me. ”

Myeni, together with board members implicated in the emails, as well as spokesperson Tlali Tlali, were contacted this week via text messages, phone calls as well as emails. Myeni’s last response to The Citizen was: “I will respond tomorrow [Friday].” Nothing, however, was forthcoming despite further requests for comment.

READ MORE:

Companies Tribunal dismisses Dudu Myeni’s application with costs