I am not selling meetings with Zuma - SAA chairperson

2015-08-13 09:04
SAA (Picture: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com">Shutterstock</a> )

SAA (Picture: Shutterstock )

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Durban - South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Dudu Myeni says running President Jacob Zuma’s Foundation has nothing to do with SAA. She has also refuted claims that she sells meetings with Zuma for hundreds of thousands of rands.

“Yes, I run the foundation of the president and it is governed by certain laws and prescripts that define any other non-governmental organisation.

“SAA has its own policy that talks to conflict of interest. If there is conflict at any discussions at board meetings, we sign a declaration to say that you are conflicted on a particular subject.”

Myeni, who was speaking to News24 in an exclusive interview at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga, said board members had to declare their interests annually.  

‘How do you sell a person?’

“Sometimes people want to confuse issues and think that I can use the president’s foundation to advance certain things that are personal. SAA has nothing to do with the foundation and the foundation cannot benefit SAA.

“The president would fire me tomorrow if he learnt that I am playing conflicting roles.

“It is all over the news that I sell number one. How do you sell a person? I don’t understand when people say that I sell meetings with the president. No one has ever told me that I need to go to jail because I have sold number one.

“No one has ever come to me and said, ‘You are selling the president and this is how you have done it and this is how much I have paid for him'.”

Myeni explained the foundation raises funds like any other NGO.

She said, for example, if the foundation hosts a dialogue with Zuma as the main speaker, Zuma will speak in his capacity as the patron of the foundation.

“It is very difficult to run a foundation of a sitting president because you are consistently and consciously making careful decisions because we don’t ever want a situation where people say that you are doing this because he is a sitting president.

“The president is a good-hearted person and if you want to see him, you will see him. If you want to phone him, you will phone him. His cellphone number is known by the students we pay bursaries for. They pick up the phone and phone him because he is a people’s person. I cannot stop him from doing that.”

‘I apply for jobs like everyone else’

Myeni said her relationship with Zuma dates back to the 90s.

“I’ve known him for many years. I was running my own business [Skills Dynamics] and I was doing adult literacy programmes. He came to our graduation ceremony and spoke at the graduation. I personally educated myself and I know how difficult it is to be uneducated when you are an adult.

“People think that my business was successful because I knew him. I started my business in 1997 and I think at that time, he was in provincial government.

“I am not doing what I am doing here because I know the president. I look at the advert and I apply like everybody else and I send my CV and I am interviewed and I choose which job I want. Sometimes I apply just to test the waters,” she said.

Read more on:    saa  |  dudu myeni  |  jacob zuma  |  durban

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