Former SAA Board Chair Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director. This means she is banned for life from holding such a position ever again.
The case against her was brought by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), which accused her of having brought the national airline to its knees during her tenure.
In the video below, SABC News speaks to OUTA about the judgment:
According to a statement on the OUTA website, judgment was handed down on Wednesday.
“This declaration of delinquency is to subsist for the remainder of Ms Myeni’s lifetime,” said Judge Ronel Tolmay in the order. “This judgment and the evidence led is referred to the NPA for their consideration and determination of whether an investigation regarding possible criminal conduct should follow.”
OUTA and the SAA Pilots’ Association (SAAPA) had lodged the court action against Myeni three years ago.
According to OUTA, Myeni has been ordered to pay the rights organisation and SAAPA’s legal costs on an attorney and client scale, including the costs of three counsel.
Myeni’s legal team brought four interlocutory challenges during the case.
OUTA says Myeni’s team lost their interlocutory challenges but raised appeals to two of them, which pushed the case out by another three months.
“We are extremely pleased to see justice meted out in a prominent matter related to state capture,” says OUTA’s Chief Legal Officer, Stefanie Fick. “When we set out on this matter three years ago, we knew it would take time and would be very costly. But every minute and every rand spent was worth it. We believed then, as we do now, that it is important to hold people like Ms Myeni to account, as opposed to seeing them get away with acts of gross misconduct, year after year. Imagine what could have been done with the endless amounts of taxes lost in her tenure to alleviate poverty and advance democracy.”
Chairperson of SAAPA Grant Back says this is a victory for the pilots of SAA.
“We believe it is important for internal organisations to take a stand against their directors when it is necessary to do so, as was the case with Ms Myeni during her tenure as the chair.”
Myeni is yet to respond to the ruling.