An elaborate plot to oust the current chairperson of the South African Airways board, Dudu Myeni by showing that she has millions of rands stashed away in foreign bank accounts has been exposed this week, it has been learnt.
The Times revealed that there has been a leak of a cache of fake documents purporting to reveal that Myeni, who is also the head of The Jacob Zuma Foundation, had managed to stash away a total in the regions of R240 million in Austria and France. These documents are said to have been circulated in the office of the president, the public protector’s office as well as in the office of the a national Commissioner of police, Riah Phiyega. However, the national police spokesman, Solomon Makgale said that it was a mystery how the documents had landed at the Commissioner’s office as no department of the police had requested an investigation into the chairperson of the SAA board. The leaked documents were attempting to raise the question of how the Chairperson had come about such wealth if, according to the 2013 financial report, she only earned R505 000 as a non executive director of the state-controlled body. In its comment issued through its spokesman, Tlali Tlali, the national airliner said that the leaked documents had the hallmarks of an elaborate conspiracy which was meant to destabilize the SAA board.
In its own reaction, the South African Airways board has instituted its own investigation into the emergence of the fake documents by appointing a company called Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs and according to the company’s spokesman, George van Niekerk, preliminary investigations that the company has conducted were showing that Dudu Myeni did not hold any foreign bank accounts. He added that the authorities were aware of the existence of the forgeries and their company was working with them to find out their source.
Since joining the board of the beleaguered national parastatal, Myeni has literally fought running battles with members of the old board to the extent that, at one point, six members of the old board had to be removed after they had accused her of serious dereliction of duty as well as altering the financing terms of the aircraft that the national airline was in the process of buying. Consequently, a new board was formed around her. In another of her battles at the helm of the new board, Myeni had to literally stare down the Public Enteprises minister Lynne Browne, who had insisted that Myeni reinstate the SAA Chief Executive Officer Monwabisi Kalawe, whom she had suspended. This led to an impasse between the two powerful women, which was only resolved by President Jacob Zuma, who moved the SAA from the public Enterprises Ministry to the Treasury in December 2014.