Myeni to face firing motion in Parliament over SAA ‘lie’

South African Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni.
South African Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni.

Cape Town – South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Dudu Myeni will face a motion to be fired in Parliament on Tuesday, following a report that she allegedly “lied in an attempt to sabotage the appointment of a desperately needed CEO for SAA".

That is according to Democratic Alliance SAA spokesperson Alf Lees in a statement on Sunday.

Myeni is expected to appear before the standing committee on finance in Parliament on Tuesday, where Lees will press for her to be fired.

The motion comes after a report in the Sunday Times reported that Myeni “allegedly attempted to halt an SAA meeting by misleading new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba over a process to appoint a new CEO”.

Myeni had apparently lied to Gigaba, telling him the board was “getting ready to make decisions related to the long-term turnaround strategy as well as the airline's finances, when in fact it was discussing the new CEO”.

After almost stalling the process, the board was able to continue and recommended that Vodacom executive Vuyani Jarana become CEO, the report said.

Myeni allegedly wanted Jerry Vilakazi to be appointed instead and had tried everything to stop the board’s process of identifying Jarana.

Lees said SAA has been without a CEO for more than two years. “During this time SAA has lost R6.3bn through bad management, particularly by the board of directors and its chair, Myeni,” he said.

Myeni’s apparent attempt to manipulate Gigaba “simply reinforces the delinquent director ruling against Myeni by the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC).

“Her attempt to have the Companies Tribunal to overturn this CIPC ruling must surely fail and Myeni must be barred from acting as a director on the board of any company.”

The CIPC heard last week that Myeni had misled Gigaba before, regarding the Airbus deal, when Gigaba was Public Enterprises minister a few years ago.

“SAA is on the brink of bankruptcy and yet Myeni has allegedly missed the last eight board meetings,” Lees said.

“SAA has already apparently defaulted on repayments of loans and is scrambling to find replacement funding for R9bn of loans already overdue and becoming due for repayment in the current year.”

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