Former South African Airways board member and Yakhe Kwinana, who is accused of wanting a R100 million kickback from a US company called AAR in exchange for a contract to provide aircraft components to SAA, is expected to respond to the allegations levelled against her when she appears before the Zondo commission on Monday.
Kwinana, who was also the chairperson of South African Airways Technical (SAAT), was implicated in February during the testimony of Sibongile Sambo a director of SRS Aviation, a BEE partner to AAR.
She is expected to give testimony about the alleged corruption that took place at SAA during the tenure of former chairperson Dudu Myeni, who is also expected to appear before the commission, which is hearing allegations of state capture, this week.
Myeni was declared a delinquent director following a campaign launched by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and the SAA Pilots’ Association.
She has been implicated by several witnesses at the commission since its public hearings started in 2018 – including former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi, who testified that Myeni was on the company’s payroll.
The company has been implicated in numerous allegations pertaining to state capture.
During his testimony, Agrizzi alleged Myeni was paid R300 000 a month by Bosasa and she was showered with expensive gifts such as a Louis Vuitton handbag that was bought for her by the late CEO of Bosasa, Gavin Watson.
Today, Kwinana will be expected to respond to the allegations that she wanted R100 million from AAR to make sure that the company got the contract.
According to Sambo, who testified on February 5, Kwinana told her she wanted to get her hands on contracts for components, logistics and tyres for SAA.
Sambo said the first meeting took place at her home, where Kwinana told her that she was planning to resign from SAA and that she planned to “lay her hands on components, logistics and tyres” contracts that SAA had.
“She came to my residence. She indicated to me that she was planning to resign as the chairperson of SAA Technical and she was keen to know more about my relationship with AAR and at that meeting she also indicated that when she leaves as a chairperson of SAA Technical, she wants to get her hands on other contracts at SAA such as a contract for tyres aircraft tyres, a contract for logistics. I cannot remember what else besides the components.
“But to me she was very clear that she wanted me to introduce her to Ms Cheryle Jackson [president of AAR Africa]. She wanted to have direct contact with Ms Cheryle Jackson ... I gladly gave her the contact details and they started talking directly,” said Sambo at the time.
Sambo said that Kwinana had indicated at the time that she was going to use “a runner” in order to facilitate the R100 million kickback payment from AAR.