Former SAA chair Dudu Myeni. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/ THE TIMES
Former SAA chair Dudu Myeni. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER/ THE TIMES

Former SAA chair Dudu Myeni on Tuesday failed for the second consecutive day to appear in court for the delinquent director case brought against her.

In March 2017, civic activist group Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the SAA Pilots Association (Saapa) filed an application to declare Myeni a delinquent director, arising from her actions as SAA chair from December 2012 to October 2017. During her stint at the helm of the airline, there was a string of governance issues and the organisation’s finances were in shambles.

Her name has also been mentioned at the state capture inquiry chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi claimed Myeni received R300,000 a month from the corruption-accused Bosasa (now African Global Operations), allegedly for the Jacob Zuma Foundation.

Myeni, a close ally of the former president, is the chair of his foundation. 

If she is declared a delinquent director she will be blocked from holding any position as a director in future.

Myeni sits on the boards of 13 companies, according to information presented in court. But she claimed she was unable to secure legal representation because she is unemployed.

She also failed to attend the scheduled court case on Monday, pleading poverty. In September her lawyer, Dan Mantsha, who also represents Zuma in a myriad court cases, withdrew from representing Myeni, saying there were no fixed financial instructions for his services.

Dudu Myeni has been in the spotlight recently for not appearing in court in the delinquent director case brought against her by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the SA Airways Pilots' Assocition (Saapa).

But Mantsha surprisingly reappeared in court on Tuesday on her behalf and excused her absence from the court.

Mantsha, who is still not officially representing Myeni, requested the court to postpone proceedings to allow him to get a new brief. 

Mantsha informed the court that a lawyer acting on a “pro bono” basis would represent Myeni to make a formal application for postponement, which takes place on Thursday.

Judge Ronel Tolmay rolled the case over to Thursday and asked Myeni to file her papers for the postponement of the case to the court by Wednesday. 

On Monday, Myeni called Outa’s lawyers claiming that she could not afford to travel to Pretoria to attend the court case. She told them she was not in a position to pay for petrol or accommodation to allow her to travel from her home in KwaZulu-Natal to attend the case.

Last week she applied for SAA’s directors’ insurance to cover her defence fees. However, Outa’s Stefanie Fick said Myeni’s attempts had been left very late for a case that had been two years in the making, with court dates allocated in February 2018.

Outa said it had requested that Myeni support her claims that she is unable to afford to appear in court from her home in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal.