State Capture witnesses boost OUTA’s case against Myeni
Dudu Myeni, former chairperson of South African Airways (SAA), who is currently the focus of the state capture inquiry, has been in OUTA’s sights for the past three years. Myeni, who was appointed to the SAA board in 2009, was replaced in October 2017 amid calls for her removal led by OUTA and the SAA Pilots Association.
In 2016 OUTA exposed and stopped a deal to the value of R256 million between SAA and BnP Capital, which was irregularly appointed to source debt funding of
R15 billion on behalf of the embattled airline. Through OUTA’s intervention, a cancellation fee of R49.9 million awarded to BnP for the same transaction was also stopped. OUTA at the time also called for the SAA board’s resignation, as it transpired that the correct procurement procedures for BnP’s appointment weren't followed.
On the back of whistleblower evidence, OUTA conducted further investigations and, in March 2017, filed a court application to have Myeni declared a delinquent director. This application, in conjunction with the SAA Pilots Association, outlined six key allegations that form the basis of the legal case against Myeni.
It includes allegations that Myeni has breached the Companies Act‚ the Public Finance Management Act and the Supply Chain Management Policy of SAA. OUTA further stated that Myeni “has been seriously remiss in her fiduciary duties and responsibilities as the chairperson and as such‚ has caused the airline significant harm”.
During Myeni’s tenure as Chairperson‚ SAA lost an estimated R10.5bn over a period of five years‚ despite that fact that SAA was profitable between 2010 and 2012.
The court application to get Myeni declared a delinquent director will be heard on 7 October this year.
“Given the damning evidence against her and the testimonies of whistleblowers like Cynthia Stimpel, we would advise Myeni to concede defeat and admit that she is a delinquent director,” said Stefanie Fick OUTA Chief Legal Officer.
The testimonies of both Stimpel and former SAA CFO Phumeza Nhantsi not only corroborate but strengthen OUTA’s case against Myeni.
“While Myeni’s involvement in state capture dominates the current news cycle it is imperative to note that civil society organisations such as OUTA have been working behind the scenes consistently to ensure whistleblowers are taken seriously and that they are offered the necessary protection,” added Rudie Heyneke OUTA’s State Capture Portfolio Manager.