Sat Sep 23 00:33:08 SAST 2017

It’s time for Dudu to go‚ says DA

By Staff Reporter | 2017-09-03 17:10:14.0

Chairperson of the South African Airways (SAA) Board Dudu Myeni should be fired with immediate effect to prevent her continued destruction of the little that is left of the state-owned airline‚ the Democratic Alliance says.

It described media reports on Sunday that Myeni would remain until her close friend‚ President Jacob Zuma‚ ends his term in 2019‚ as “simply mind boggling”.

DA deputy spokesman Alf Lees said he had written to Myeni to request confirmation that these reports were true and if so‚ why she believed it was in the interest of the crumbling SAA for her to remain‚ despite commitments that her appointment would come to an end at the beginning of September.

“It is clearly nonsensical for the Cabinet to once again capitulate to the wishes of a discredited President and to not instruct Malusi Gigaba‚ the Minister of Finance‚ to adhere to the commitment that was made that Ms Myeni would be appointed as SAA board chair for one year.

“Ms Myeni must be fired with immediate effect to prevent her continued destruction of the little that is left of SAA‚” Lees stated.

He added that SAA was bankrupt and near to liquidation. Suppliers had not been paid in full in July and August and the SAA cash flow indicated that they would also not be paid in full in September.

“The airline has been running at losses of R350-million every month in the current financial year and if it can find benefactors to provided additional cash to pay its staff salaries and suppliers for the second six months of the 2017/18 financial year‚ is heading for a loss of R4-billion in the 2017/18 year.

“Even if the banks were to miraculously extend their loans to SAA‚ this will not provide any cash and SAA will not be able to continue trading without a cash bailout from the South African taxpayer. It is certainly not a ‘going concern’‚” Lees said.

“There is R6.7-billion payable to banks by the 30th of September 2017. National Treasury has already been forced to pay Standard Chartered Bank R2‚2 billion when they refused to extend the loans to SAA.

“City Bank has apparently also refused to extend their loans to SAA beyond the 30th of September 2017 and today there are reports that Nedbank have informed SAA and National Treasury that they will not be able to extend the term of their loan beyond the 30th of September 2017 unless‚ possibly amongst other conditions‚ Ms Myeni is removed as SAA Board Chair and from the SAA Board‚” Lees added.

He said it was clear that it was time for Myeni to go. “Keeping her on would be irresponsible and would essentially ensure SAA’s destruction.”