Dudu Myeni could face criminal charges

Outa, together with the SAA Pilots’ Association (Saapa), approached the High Court in Pretoria with an application to have Myeni declared a delinquent director.


The stakes have been raised in Dudu Myeni’s delinquent director case, with the possibility of criminal prosecution now hanging over the head of SAA’s embattled former board member should she lose.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), together with the SAA Pilots’ Association (Saapa), approached the High Court in Pretoria in 2017, with an application to have Myeni declared a delinquent director.

The trial finally got off the ground this week, with advocate Carol Steinberg – for Outa and the pilots – yesterday concluding her opening statement.

Steinberg said over and above asking that the court declare Myeni a delinquent director, her clients would be asking that Myeni not be allowed to serve as a director or a senior executive, nor on any boards, for the rest of her life.

“What the court must do is order a minimum of seven years but the court has the discretion to extend that to any period and to put any conditions on it,” she said.

Myeni spent five years at the helm of SAA’s board, during which time the state carrier reportedly suffered alleged losses of close to R17 billion.

In the action brought by Outa and Saapa, they say Myeni’s time at SAA was marked by “decay and financial ruin”.

This evidence will focus on four specific instances of alleged impropriety and unlawfulness, which Outa and Saapa rely on in their application.

In the first, Myeni is accused of scuppering a valuable “code sharing” deal with Emirates, costing the state carrier dearly in income and reputation.

In the second, she is alleged to have, in 2013, interfered in the financing of a contract for 20 new Airbus A320-200 aircraft and in 2015 blocked an agreement with the global transportation company to cancel the purchase of 10 aircraft and instead lease five.

The case also rests heavily on the BnP Capital deal, which involves the “improper appointment” of BnP Capital as a transaction advisor to SAA and the staggering R49.9 million cancellation fee that followed after the contract collapsed.

And finally, in 2015, Ernst and Young completed a report “on problems with SAA procurement and contract management”.

Judge Ronel Tolmay is pushing for the case to proceed without delay, after a series of setbacks triggered by challenges brought forward by Myeni’s legal team.

The case continues today.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits