Zondo inquiry: Charges loom for Myeni for identifying protected state witness

The former South African Airways (SAA) board chair earlier named witness "Mr X" - who had implicated her.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission's advocate Kate Hofmeyr on Thursday requested Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo's direct secretary lay a charge against Dudu Myeni for breaching the rules of the commission which deal with the protection of witnesses.

The former South African Airways (SAA) board chair earlier named witness "Mr X" - who had implicated her.

Hofmeyr said all steps were taken to inform Myeni why MR X's identity was a secret and said her conduct was a wilful obstruction of the commission and it's processes.

Hofmeyr said Myeni's conduct would deter whistle blowers.

“It reveals a disrespect for this commission and its processes and it will send a chill over these proceedings. Because it is liable to deter future whistle blower witnesses from coming forward.”

Mr X had earlier told the inquiry and he and Myeni swindled and laundered millions from Mhlatuze Water when she was board chair.

Myeni was asked about Mr X's testimony that he received money from her son's company, Premier Attraction, but she went on to name the witness.

Hofmeyer asked: “Ms Myeni are you aware that Mr X testified that he received money from your son's company, Premier Attraction?”

Myeni asked Zondo: “Sorry chairperson who is Mr X?”, and Hofmeyer confirmed he was a witness at the commission.

“He was a witness who presented evidence before the commission and in respect of whose evidence you were given a Rule 33 notice,” Hofmeyer replied.

Zondo decided to protect the identities of witnesses - many of who said they feared for their lives - but Myeni broke that code.

“I am not going to talk to issues that pertain to what the so-called Mr X said because of the fear that has been presented before you, Chair. This is an honest man that have known for over 25 years," Myeni said.

He tried to stop her, but she persisted.

Zondo then expressed his disappointment in her: “If somebody disrespects an order that I’ve made, it seems to me that that person disrespects me too. The media or other people who may have heard the breach of the order that I made – they should not use this breach to justify mentioning the name of Mr X. They must continue to respect the order that was issued.”

Hofmeyer warned Myeni not to use the name of a protected witness Mr X.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.