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DA plans action to remove Myeni as SAA board chairperson

The party says that under Myeni, SAA has become a money-sucking leach which has robbed the public of funds.

SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni in February 2015. Picture: Gallo Images/Veli Nhlapo.

PRETORIA - The Democratic Alliance (DA) is today expected to announce the legal steps it will take to try to remove newly reappointed South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson Dudu Myeni from her post.

Cabinet announced on Friday that Myeni had been reappointed on a one-year contract despite wide-spread criticism of her handling of the struggling carrier.

The SAA board chair will serve another one-year term, while the other 11 board members have been appointed on three-year agreements.

The DA says Myeni's reappointment undermines the principle of appointing the brightest and the best to serve the state and its public entities.

Myeni has been blamed for the steady decline of SAA's financial position, prompting the airline recently to go public to raise R15 billion in capital.

The party says under her leadership, SAA has become a money-sucking leach which has robbed the public and the fiscus of funds.

Government has however shown its full support for Myeni, claiming she has expertise in business strategy and development.

THE REAPPOINTMENT LACKS COMMITMENT

The DA said the reappointment shows a lack of commitment to good governance at state-owned entities.

On Friday, government confirmed it had reinstated Myeni to her position, in addition to appointing a new board.

There has been widespread condemnation of Myeni's reappointment, who has been blamed for contributing to the national airline's financial difficulties.

The DA's Mabine Seabe said: "Therefore the DA leader on Monday will announce steps to send to the council following the appointment of Dudu Myeni as chairperson because we can't have the situation where people who are close to the president are appointed to the position merely because of their position to the president."

Seabe said Myeni's reappointment undermines good governance at state-owned entities.

"We as the DA are appalled that Dudu Myeni would be reappointed as chairperson of the SAA board given that during her tenure as board chairperson previously, she has turned SAA into nothing more than a money sucking leech."

While government fully supports Myeni, claiming she has expertise in business strategy and development, she's been widely blamed for the carrier's decline.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse said the previous board purged the airline of excellent senior staff and has called on the new board to reappoint suitably skilled personnel to turn the airline around.

It said Myeni should be held accountable for poor governance and performance issues at the airline, saying it's a pity government didn't use this opportunity to remove her from the board.

Myeni is a close ally of President Jacob Zuma and was reportedly excluded on a proposed board by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

However, it's understood the president rejected the list to ensure Myeni retained her post.