Breathtaking II: Wrecking ball chairman Myeni reckons SAA “in good hands”

A year ago we published an article explaining the world according to SAA’s massively under-qualified chairman Duduzile Myeni. Her ignorance, we opined, was breathtaking. But even Myeni’s biggest critics couldn’t predict what she’d attempt in the next 12 months. The one person airline wrecking ball twice attempted to extract massive rents from the loss making business whose injections from taxpayers run into billions. The first time, through the unknown “transaction advisor” Quartile Capital, led to her close friend President Jacob Zuma firing a resisting finance minister, sparking Nenegate. The second, a similar plundering attempt with another unknown “transaction advisor”, saw a concerned SAA Treasurer Cynthia Stimpel put on suspension. So while Nene and Stimpel get punished for doing what is right, Presidentially protected Myeni sails arrogantly on. Yesterday she provided her own follow up, Breathtaking II, at a ‘no-questions’ media briefing. Not surprising only a handful of journalists bothered to turn up. There’s only so much unadulterated idiocy anyone can take. Even if the purveyor is chairman of the Jacob Zuma Foundation. – Alec Hogg

By Tshidi Madia

Johannesburg – Embattled chairperson of South African Airways (SAA) Dudu Myeni has assured South Africans that the national carrier is in good hands, expressing confidence in the new board that was announced last week to work alongside her.

“I want to assure you that this airline is in the right hands: I have observed the new board, it’s people with good skills, people who are highly competent and with experience, people who will arrive here and take time to familiarise themselves with the aviation space,” Myeni told journalists and a group of concerned citizens.

Cartoon courtesy of Twitter @PaulieCartoons
Cartoon courtesy of Twitter @PaulieCartoons

Earlier the SAA chair held a closed meeting with several leaders including Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama, Progressive Professionals Forum president Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi and National Association of Manufacturers in Electronic Components’ Adil Nchabeleng.

Read also: Paul O’Sullivan: Exposing fresh Myeni corruption at SAA. Documentary proof.

The group wanted to address concerns it had over the running of the state-owned enterprise, claiming media reports of goings-on at SAA were concerning.

In an open session, where journalists were not allowed to pose questions to Myeni, they discussed issues of the financial well-being of SAA, corruption and transformation.

Myeni said her board inherited a company that did not have a healthy balance sheet but added that steps were being taken to “remedy the situation”.

Incompetence a ‘myth’

“The turnaround strategy is that we look at why we are in financial turmoil, commissioned forensic investigation into financial losses, looked at every part of the business to understand what happened in our outstations in Brazil and in the UK,” she said.

Read also: SAA fiasco: Court showdown next for Zuma golden girl Dudu Myeni.

Myeni also spent a considerable amount of time defending her role as chair of the board and hit out at those who have criticised her performance.

“What I want to give you assurance of is that we found the airline in dire straits: There were people who were aviation experts who were here before us. There is also a myth that this chairperson is incompetent but I am yet to find the yard stick they are using to access my competence.

“I am incompetent because R24bn must benefit black South Africans, I am also incompetent because I have seen the reason why the airline was losing money,” she said.

Myeni compared the way the airline was being portrayed as an “alcoholic” always seeking bailouts, but that was not the truth, she said.

“All you hear is that the company needs bailouts, always knocking, going to National Treasury for bailouts. What you don’t know is that bailouts are not in cash. We get a paper which is a government guarantee; we service those loans, ourselves [we] never received a cash injection from government.” – News24


SAA dealing with corrupt contracts – Myeni

By Tshidi Madia

Johannesburg – Reappointed chair of the South African Airways board of directors, Dudu Myeni, says the airline is addressing the issue of corruption internally.

Zapiro's animated look at how SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni and President Jacob Zuma are literally wrecking the South African economy. More wizardry available at
Zapiro’s animated look at how SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni and President Jacob Zuma are literally wrecking the South African economy. More wizardry available at

“We have found reports of corrupt contracts. We are dealing with those things internally, we feel no obligation to take them to the media,” Myeni said at a meeting with a group of concerned citizens on Thursday.

Myeni said she had made time to meet with Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama and Progressive Professionals Forum president Mzwanele Manyi to respond to some of their concerns.

Mngxitama said BLF had worries over the finances of SAA, the rate of transformation and reports of corruption, but felt the need to go and speak to Myeni themselves.

Myeni has attracted severe criticism throughout her first tenure as chairperson of SAA, some even accusing her of running the state-owned entity as if it was her private business. Her survival has also been linked to her close relationship to President Jacob Zuma, but in the meeting she told the group she had inherited challenges at the airline.

Speaking in front of a handful of journalists, Myeni said the board only visited Airway Park, SAA’s offices, four to six times a year and that she was not responsible for the daily operations at the organisation.

“There is an issue of a lack of accountability and consequence. I am not responsible for the day to day running of the airline, there is management for that.” – News24


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