Dudu Myeni Faffing Cost SAA Loses Of R800 Million

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The first report on the Judicial Commission of Inquiry has found that Dudu Myeni caused South African Airways (SAA) losses of nearly a billion rand when she irregularly tried to alter an agreed aircraft leasing deal.

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed over the report to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday afternoon and hours later it was made public.

The report found despite Myeni’s erratic attendance at board meetings she was appointed as the acting chairperson of the SAA board during the tenure of Melusi Gigaba, then minister of public enterprises.

Myeni would regularly abandon SAA board meetings she was chairing to attend to urgent matters with “number one” – the code name for Jacob Zuma who was the president at the time.

The report found that in the aircraft leasing deal, Myeni unilaterally changed the number of aircraft sought by SAA through the Pembroke transaction from the agreed 10 to only two.

When the matter came to light other board members concluded that Myeni “appeared to be trying to secure her own funding for the acquisition of the 10 Airbus A320s – without involving the executive”.

What followed was a delivery mess lasting months in which pre-delivery costs to SAA were allowed to accrue.

The report found that Myeni’s conduct in the Pembroke transaction resulted in delays in the delivery of the aircraft that cost SAA about R800m in pre-delivery payments.

This led to a further cash shortfall and SAA having to increase its borrowing limits, which negatively impacted SAA for a long time. 

As a result, the report recommends that law enforcement agencies take a look into the matter with a view of pressing criminal charges.