Dudu Myeni has been officially reappointed as the board chairperson of the South African Airline (SAA).
Dudu’s reappointment confirmed earlier speculation about a leaked list where the Cabinet was to vet and complete her reappointment alongside twelve others.
As expected, the friend of president Jacob Zuma, Dudu Myeni, was appointed by the cabinet to maintain control of the troubled airline.
Myeni’s presence on the list is largely considered a “massive compromise” on the part of National Treasury, which has not minced its words in expressing its desire for the current chair to be given the boot.
Gordhan had, months back, presented to the cabinet a board that excluded Zuma’s friend Myeni, but it was outrightly rejected by president Jacob Zuma.
The finance minister returned to see how Myeni’s name would be included in the list and despite several discrediting news about her role in the financial crackdown of the state-owned airline, Treasury managed to include board members that could keep the controversial chairperson in check.
“We must do political homework to get credible people on board,” Gordhan reportedly said in July. He said the new board and management team could include existing members and “new blood”.
Alf Lees, DA deputy shadow minister of finance, said on Thursday that Myeni’s reappointment will “be bad for SAA, bad for our economy and bad for Pravin Gordhan”.
“Dudu Myeni and her board have simply ignored Minister Gordhan and all warnings. They have, in our opinion, recklessly continued to run SAA into the ground and to the brink of liquidation.”
“We see the appointment as irrational,” Lees said on Friday. “We need to look at what action we can take with regard to her appointment.
“It appears that some strong people have been appointed the board. However, it doesn’t obviate our fears that Dudu Myeni will dominate the board, especially because of her close relationship with Zuma.
“The other board members will find themselves unable to perform their duties to sufficiently to save the airline.”
However, the cabinet today September 2, said it has discussed the appointment of the board of South African Airways (SAA) and approved the following appointments:
- Duduzile Cynthia Myeni (reappointment as chairperson);
- Mmakeaya Magoro Tryphosa Ramano (deputy chairperson and non-executive director);
- Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala (non-executive director);
- Thandeka Nozipho Mgoduso (non-executive director);
- Nazmeera Moola (non-executive director);
- Akhter Hoosen Moosa (non-executive director);
- Gugu Sepamla (non-executive director);
- Siphile Buthelezi (non-executive director);
- Peter Holmes Maluleka (non-executive director);
- Mzimkulu Malunga (non-executive director);
- Martha Mbatha (non-executive director); and
- Peter Tshisevhe (non-executive director).
SAA has received a number of government bailouts worth at least R14.4 billion over the years, but the airline still stands to request for another R5 billion guarantee from Treasury.
It is also understood that the announcement of the new board will also see finance minister Pravin Gordhan signing off on the guarantee to prevent further crises at SAA, and pave the way for the group’s financial report to be released later in September.