Dudu Myeni, controversial SAA chairperson who was reappointed in the position on Friday, has a record of financial mismanagement, even from before she was first appointed to the position, the DA revealed.
At a press conference held at parliament on Monday, the party’s federal executive chairperson James Selfe, said Myeni failed to adequately perform her tasks as the chairperson of the Mhlathuze Water Board. Other “shocking elements” of her record included:
– a failed probity test, which showed a default judgment against her in relation to R416 460 owed to Absa bank;
– a R1.7m judgment in favour of Standard Bank with regard to a property she reportedly co-owns; and
– a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe into alleged maladministration and abuse of state resources, unfair dismissal of staff and non-compliance with tender processes when she was chair of the Mhlatuze Water Board.
“Even before she was appointed to SAA chairperson back in November 2012,” Selfe said, “there were question marks around her fitness for the job.
“Yet she was still appointed in a deliberate act of cadre deployment and nepotism.”
At its press conference, the DA reiterated its intention to file an application to the Western Cape High Court to have the Myeni’s reappointment set aside.
“[Myeni’s] reappointment not only reeks of nepotism and cronyism so common under the administration of President Jacob Zuma,” said Maimane, “but also flies in the face of the need for good governance at state-owned enterprises.”
The DA will specifically focus on the “rationality” aspect of Myeni’s reappointment. The party has won similar court cases, such as that of Former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Menzi Simelane when the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled his appointment was invalid in 2011.
The DA said during Myeni’s time as SAA board chairperson, the national carrier has stumbled from one disaster to another.
Lees cited the following instances of financial mismanagement:
– SAA has failed to publish annual financial statements for 2014/15, with an apparent loss of R4.7bn;
– SAA has failed to publish annual financial statements for 2015/16, with an apparent loss of R4bn;
– Under her guidance SAA is run at an apparent R1.3bn loss for the first quarter of 2016/17;
– She has irrationally suspended officials, including the Head of Human Resources, apparently because they tried to curb corruption;
– She oversaw the BnP funding debacle, which cost SAA millions of rands with no returns; and
– She has put SAA at risk of losing lucrative routes such as the Hong Kong route.
In addition to this, the DA said, she has taken many questionable decisions, including:
– Requesting National Treasury to approve a new route to Khartoum, Sudan, on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, in order to show support to “his brother”, the controversial Sudan president Omar al-Bashir;
– Suspending head of treasury Cynthia Stimpel for removing company documents which SAA said was a breach of its own code and ethics. The documents related to the BnP debacle, and indicated that BnP’s services were three times more expensive than the nearest quote she had received from banks;
– Attempting to reinstate a direct flight route between Cape Town and Durban and Cape Town and Port Elizabeth at a huge loss of R256m a year so that ANC MPs from KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape could “travel in style”;
– Reneging on SAA’s imminent equity partnership agreement with Emirates Airlines at the 11th hour, which would have seen more than R2bn injected into the cash strapped entity; and
– Requesting that the chief procurement officer add the name of Sizwe Zuma to a list of potential new jet fuel suppliers. SAA’s jet fuel contracts are worth R10bn per year and the airline is currently in the process of finding new empowerment partners to benefit from these lucrative contracts.