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Myeni embarrassed SAA, country with failed Emirates deal, court hears

Myeni is under cross-examination in the delinquency case brought against her by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and SA Pilots Association.

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 - The High Court in Pretoria has heard that former South African Airways (SAA) chair Dudu Myeni embarrassed both the airline and the country when she gave instructions to stop the signing of a multi-million rand Emirates deal.

Myeni is under cross-examination in the delinquency case brought against her by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and SA Pilots Association.

They want the court to declare her a delinquent director accusing her of bringing the struggling entity to its knees.

The accusations against Myeni continued as she battled to answer questions about the role she played in the failed R1.5 billion deal between SAA and Emirates.

Witnesses told the court how Myeni instructed former CEO Nico Bezuidenhout, through an SMS, not to sign the deal at the last minute and then she herself failed to authorise the agreement.

Judge Ronel Tolmay agreed with Outa’s legal team that the failure to secure the deal under Myeni's instruction caused a major embarrassment for SAA and the country.

Myeni tried to defend herself: “When I sent that SMS, it was my clear understanding that no other board had any consideration or approval or support.”

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