I will not resign from my position, says Myeni | Fin24
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I will not resign from my position, says Myeni

Nov 27 2015 21:30
Amanda Khoza, News24

Durban – South African Airways board chairperson Dudu Myeni has told the standing committee on finance why she shouldn’t resign from her job as chairperson of the national carrier.

In a written response addressed to chairperson Yunus Carrim, she responded to a question submitted by DA MP David Maynier at portfolio committee on November 18.

Myeni told the committee that she would continue to carry out her responsibilities for as long as the government and the shareholder representative Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, required her to.

“I believe that I and the board of SAA have performed well in extraordinarily difficult circumstances…”

She said SAA was under pressure and undercapitalised.

Myeni also said the board had lifted the lid into what was really happening at SAA.

“It has been our board that has brought maladministration before independent hearings.”

She also said it was the board which initiated the Edward Nathan Sonneneberg’s anti-corruption programme and the Ernst and Young investigation into procurement losses.

“It is our board that has identified massive losses and pursued those responsible for a variety of failings. These actions have proved most unpopular hence recent media attacks. We have been publicly vilified yet we are undaunted.”

She said the board would continue to clean up the “rot and return SAA to profitability” by challenging and preventing corrupt activities.

“It is this board that is challenging many past decisions that have… merely served to downscale the airline and inhibit its return to profitability.

“We are challenging issues such as the closure of the Cape Town/London route, the closure of Dakar/Washington route, the Mumbai route and domestic routes such as Cape Town/Durban and frequencies between OR Tambo and Durban.”

She also addressed the recent media leaks saying, “Those threatened have much to lose hence media leaks. I would pose the question – why do we suddenly have so many internal, disgruntled employees anonymously leaking documents and stories to the press?”

She said the recent Airbus Swop transaction had been under public scrutiny.

“Again this is fuelled by anonymous “insiders”. What the board is doing, is testing the wisdom of the proposal. This is a proposal that will lock SAA in 12 years of escalating rand cost leasing expenditure. This is a massive transaction and its impact will be felt for a decades to come.”

Myeni said the board was not challenging Airbus.

“Airbus is a major and highly valued partner and stakeholder in our business. We are not at odds with them and they have been extremely cooperative.”

She said the board had noted the adverse reporting of the status of the airline.

“SAA is paying all its liabilities and is serving all its loans. We are not about to default at all.

Why is a perfectly normal internal report taken out of context? Who benefits from creating such negativity?,” she asked.

Myeni said should Airbus impose penalties then SAA would be at risk and that risk must be managed but the board did not foresee this happening.

Myeni said decisions made by SAA’s predecessors were still haunting the airline.

“SAA has a history of financial losses, but recently, the media has been selectively reporting about the financial performance of SAA as though it is something new.

“No one has spoken about the hedging losses in 2004/5, losses incurred through Sale and Lease Back of SAA’s Fleet (Aircraft) during the tenure of the former SAA CEO Coleman Andrews.

“That decision continues to affect SAA, as we only own less than 10 Aircraft today in our books.”

Myeni said in her view financial losses should not be addressed by removing the board but by dealing corruption and maladministration.

She added the board would continue doing what is in the best interest of the company.

“I will not resign in this position, but will continue to serve at the pleasure of the South African government as long as it requires me to serve.”

When contacted Myeni first asked News24 how it was in possession of the letter but confirmed that she had indeed responded to the committee.

Myeni refused to comment on her response.

Chairperson of the portfolio committee on finance Yunus Carrim confirmed receiving the response.

Letter to Chair of the Standing Committee of Finance

saa  |  dudu myeni  |  companies  |  industrial


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