Former South African Airways (SAA) chairman Dudu Myeni has been declared a criminal director under the Companies Act for life.
The judgment of the Pretoria High Court stems from a court application brought against Myeni by the Organization Against Tax Abuse and the South African Pilots Association (SAAPA) regarding the role she has played in recent years. demise of SAA.
She may apply for suspension of the order within three years, but will have to prove that she has been sufficiently rehabilitated from her misconduct.
She was appointed non-executive director of SAA in September 2009 and became acting chair in December 2012 and chair in September 2016.
The court found she was a weak witness and could not provide answers to important aspects of the evidence against her. She did not even attend certain court proceedings and offered unconvincing excuses, the verdict reads.
Judge Ronel Tolmay found Myeni had collapsed a lucrative deal that SAA negotiated with Emirates. This transaction would have saved SAA and strengthened its financial position.
The deal with Emirates would have brought in SAA R1.5 billion a year and this would have helped the airline cancel its loss-making route to Abu Dhabi.
Testimony was presented in court as to how Myeni, as a non-executive chairman, insisted on attending industry meetings.
SAA top executives testified how she told them at one point that former president. Jacob Zuma instructed her not to sign a transaction.