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Dudu Myeni misled Parliament & Treasury over Airbus deal, court told

The former SAA board chairperson returned to the stand for a fourth day on Wednesday in her delinquency case.

Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni testifying in her delinquency case at the High Court in Pretoria on 20 February 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

PRETORIA - Former South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson Dudu Myeni has been accused of misleading Parliament as well as former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene regarding the failed deal with Airbus.

Myeni returned to the stand for a fourth day on Wednesday in her delinquency case.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the South African Airways Pilots' Association (SAAPA) want her declared a delinquent director, arguing that SAA suffered massive financial losses during her tenure.

Myeni had still not given clear answers about why she disregarded a decision by Nene relating to the purchase of an A330 aircraft from Airbus.

Five years ago, SAA’s board decided on the deal, which was approved by National Treasury. But the evidence before courts suggests that Myeni refused to sign the agreement, claiming that an alternative was being sought with a local leasing company, among other things.

Carol Steinberg, representing Outa, argued that Myeni was warned that failure to sign would cost SAA as much as $114 million.

She also said Myeni misled Parliament by claiming that SAA had been promised funding by a local financial institution.

“I do not agree that I lied in Parliament, my understanding then is totally different,” Myeni said in response to the allegations by Outa.

The former SAA board chairperson has been consistently accused of not telling the truth during her testimony, which was something she denied.

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