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Myeni: I never intended to act recklessly with Airbus swap transaction deal

The failed swap transaction deal with Airbus collapsed after former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni failed to sign the agreement, despite approval from the Finance Minister and a preliminary nod from the board.

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 said she never intended to act recklessly when she intervened in a controversial swap transaction deal with Airbus.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa)'s lawyer Carol Steinberg was cross-examining Myeni in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Outa and the South African Pilots Association want the court to declare Myeni a delinquent director over her handling of the Airbus deal, along with other claims of mismanagement.

The failed swap transaction deal with Airbus collapsed after Myeni failed to sign the agreement, despite approval from the Finance Minister and a preliminary nod from the board.

The deal set out to swap a fleet of A320 aircraft for much bigger A330s.

Steinberg read an e-mail to the court from SAA’s legal department, warning Myeni that further failure to sign the deal would have severe financial implications and the airline would be liable for $114 million.

She said that Myeni‘s action amounted to reckless trading.

This is how Myeni responded after being pressured by the judge to respond.

"Any error of judgement occurs in any normal business."

Myeni has been on the witness stand for four days now.

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