Zondo unpacks how Myeni, JZ worked together: Nene axing, rand rigging, cash, police, Eskom

For three days last week, ex-SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni testified at the Zondo commission. From the onset of her much-awaited testimony, Myeni told the commission she would not respond to questions about SAA. Citing her right to not incriminate herself as she is facing an investigation by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Myeni opted to respond to a few questions. At times, Myeni made a mockery of the inquiry as she revealed the name of a state capture witness who implicated her in receiving large amounts of money. She went on rants about how she was being prejudiced for having a close relationship with former president Jacob Zuma. At one point Myeni alleged she was being hunted by a faction that opposed Zuma and his allies. Myeni’s testimony was ridiculous at times but profoundly telling of her unprofessionalism – Bernice Maune. 

I had nothing to do with Nhlanhla Nene’s firing ma’am

Out of all the outrageous moments of Dudu Myeni’s three-day testimony, her taste for conspiracy was most evident when was asked to explain her role in former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s axing in 2015. Nene had allegedly expressed his reservations about Myeni’s leadership and wanted her removed from the SAA board. After a meeting with Myeni and Zuma, Nene was fired, causing damage to the rand’s standing in the markets.

“Which market? Chairperson, I need to understand not the rand rigged markets related issues. I must get a bit of clarity because there was too much of the rigging of the rand during that time.”

Bosasa, Zuma and the Sheraton hotel 

Former Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Bosasa, Angelo Agrizzi told the Zondo commission that he made monthly payments of R300 000 to the Jacob Zuma Foundation. Myeni would receive the payments and make cash deposits of up to R100 000 into her own account. Signatures on the slips belonged to Myeni though she would not respond on this. According to Agrizzi, Myeni would set up meetings between him and Jacob Zuma. One of these meetings were held at the Sheraton hotel with former SAA advisor Nick Linnell in attendance. Evidence shows that Linnell stayed on the same floor as Myeni, three doors down from her room. Myeni would not answer any questions on the above, saying she would incriminate herself if she did.

Myeni’s powerful influence extends to police force 

Evidence leader Kate Hofmeyr grilled Myeni about Agrizzi’s statement she had given him documents on a police investigation into Bosasa. The security company was implicated in a complex network of tenders, fraud and bribery involving top government officials such as Nomvula Mokonyane.

“Mr Agrizzi said that you handed to him and Mr Watson confidential police docket information regarding an investigation into Bosasa. Can you confirm that you had that meeting?” Myeni declined to comment, citing her right to silence.

Dudu Myeni gets away with security upgrades worth R500 000

Security upgrades worth R500 000 were installed at Myeni’s home. The features were paid for by Agrizzi and when the Hawks attempted to seize them last October, Myeni’s influence was clear. As the Hawks waited outside her home in Richards Bay all day, the Hawks were eventually called off by someone high up in the police department.

“These are unfair views chair. I’m here as an innocent person and the way in which the evidence leader is trying to put my security issues back in my house that any person can just access somebody’s house without being present on the premises. I can see that I have no rights as a black woman because no white woman who has a house without her being on the premises can allow just about any person to walk into the house.”

The question of who hired Mr Fix It Nick Linnell hangs in the balance, according to Dudu Myeni

When Nick Linnell testified at the Zondo commission, he said he met Myeni through a colleague at the uMhlatuze Water Board in 2012. They had been working together since, providing insight and advice on Eskom and SAA. Linnell said he performed services for Myeni and invoiced SAA on a monthly basis. City Press also revealed he was paid R167 000 as a retainer for his mixed bag of services which included writing press releases and lobbying ministers for support. When Yakhe Kwinana testified on Monday and Tuesday this week, she said Linnell attended board meetings and gave legal advice on the spot. She also said his services weren’t really needed.

“The problem is that I’m expected to respond to the evidence presented by Kwinana, I haven’t listened to Kwinana’s evidence yet, perhaps I still need to go to the commission’s website to listen to Kwinana’s evidence therefore I’ll be able to confirm,” said Myeni.

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Also read: ‘Prison awaits you!’ Forensics for Justice’s Paul O’Sullivan warns #DuduMyeni & co