Former SAA Technical board chairperson and former SAA board member Yakhe Kwinana continued to make denials and dodge questions at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture Tuesday, just as she had on Monday.
Kwinana, who on Monday denied knowledge of a R1 billion contract that she had signed, also denied that she and former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni tried to force Masimba Dahwa, a former chief procurement officer at the airline, to sign contracts without going through proper procurement processes.
Kwinana once again elicited an astounded exclamation of “Sjoe!” from Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Zondo is the chairperson of the commission, which was announced by former President Jacob Zuma in early 2018 and set up under the administration of President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud at state entities, including at the national carrier.
Fin24 reported how Dahwa had testified at the commission in June 2019 that Kwinana had summoned him by SMS to meet at the SAA building in October 2015.
Dahwa said he was told to draft an award agreement in favour of aviation services company Swissport for ground handling at airports, which would involve a BEE company as part of the deal.
According to Dahwa, Myeni later joined the meeting and she and Kwinana tried to convince him to draw up the agreement.
He claimed he was threatened with disciplinary action. Dahwa told the commission that both Kwinana and Myeni had tried to threaten him into signing SAA’s contracts with Engen and Swissport. He refused.
He stated that Kwinana and Myeni had told him that the EFF would engage in protests to ensure that he lost his position because he was Zimbabwean and that he was “antitransformation”.
However, Kwinana disputed this. She said that Dahwa had refused to continue with the negotiations that they had already made with Engen and that he failed to set up a meeting with other related companies to follow up on the agreements.
Earlier in the proceedings, the evidence leader of the commission, Kate Hofmeyr, said Kwinana was being dishonest with her evidence to the commission after she denied attending a meeting where she and Myeni pressured Dahwa to sign the contracts.
This was revealed in a scathing letter that Kwinana wrote, accusing Dahwa of doing his best to keep African people in economic bondage.
However, Kwinana told the commission that she had no hard feelings against Dahwa despite the strongly worded email she wrote about him – which forms part of the evidence before the commission.
But Zondo disagreed with her, saying that the tone of her letter about Dahwa was very negative.
“If you, Yakhe Kwinana, say you weren’t in that meeting, it means Dr Dahwa was fabricating everything in his email and I’m wondering why he would do that. And how must I believe you did not have any strong and negative feelings towards Dr Dahwa? This email is written in strong and negative terms.”
“Ms Kwinana, don’t tell me that this is just a disagreement. Your views are very negative,” said Zondo.
Kwinana said she had forgotten about the letter that she wrote, and also that she was not in that meeting.
“I don’t remember the meeting at all, Chair, that’s why I was saying, for such a long meeting, that would start at 10am and end at 4pm, there would be minutes that would be approved by the people who were in that meeting.”
Zondo interrupted her, saying that what she and Myeni were doing was wrong and that there would not be minutes of the meeting.