- Dudu Myeni's lawyer is convinced that the delinquent director case against his client will fail
- This comes as the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and the SAA Pilots' Association seek to have her barred from leading any entity
- The former SAA chairperson's attorney is not convinced that the court will be satisfied with the 'proof' against her
Dudu Myeni's lawyer Daniel Mantsha is convinced that OUTA and SAAPA have failed to prove that his client should be declared a delinquent director.
IOL reports that Mantsha had signalled his confidence in the matter at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.
Both the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and the SAA Pilots' Association claim that the former South African Airways board chairperson was responsible for plunging the state-owned entity into its current financial crisis.
Mantsha is convinced that his opponents in the case failed to make a strong case against his client, certainly not strong enough to justify an adverse ruling:
“This case was simply an ego battle between SAA executives and board members."
The attorney is adamant that the court is unlikely to rule in favour of barring Myeni from serving as a director in the future.
However, evidence was presented that Myeni had ignored instructions handed down by former finance ministers Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan.
The instructions handed down urged Myeni to sign a deal between the national airline and Airbus. Nene had approved the deal in mid-2015.
The court was told that Myeni had refused to sign off on the deal, calling for African Aircraft Leasing Company to complete the deal instead.
Nene had rejected the proposal, with Gordhan issuing a similar instruction in December of the same year, a day after he was reappointed as finance minister.
In his letter to Myeni, Gordhan had written that immense “speculation which fuelled the crisis we witnessed last week centred on SAA”, pointing out that state-owned entities were one of the key risks to South Africa's fiscal framework.
Gordhan was adamant that SAA was at the forefront of the SOEs in light of its 'unstable financial position'.
One of his first initiatives upon his return to office was to support the deal in question, but he had arranged a meeting between Treasury and the SAA board to discuss Myeni's proposal.
The court heard that Myeni and non-executive directors had opted not to attend the meeting.
Advocate Carol Steinberg explained that this had prompted Gordhan to pen another letter to Myeni, ordering the signing of the deal:
“The board resolution to execute the lease transaction with Airbus must be provided to my office by 13h00 on December 21."
This instruction went ignored and the government was then forced to use an old SAA board resolution to sign the deal.
Briefly.co.za reported that Myeni has stuck to her claim of missing previous court hearings over financial difficulties, despite earning R7 million annually just a few months prior.
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