Former SAA chairperson, Dudu Myeni’s legal respesentative, Advocate Nqabayethu Buthelezi, has denied allegations that Myeni scuppered what could have been a multI-billion Rand deal with Emirates Airlines.
Bezuidenhout told the court that the national carrier lost a deal that would have guaranteed it $100 million (about R1.5 billion) in revenue from Emirates in 2015 because Myeni refused to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). He added that the deal would have ensured that SAA was profitable. The current Mango CEO said Myeni had told him that former President, Jacob Zuma, ordered her not to sign the Emirates deal.
But Buthelezi argued that the MoU was not signed because Myeni was waiting for the board meeting in July so that board members could deliberate on the Emirates deal as well as its advantages and disadvantages. Buthelezi said allegations against Myeni were meant to discredit her. “We don’t want to waste the court's time and deny all the other allegations that have nothing to do with delinquency. Including the issues around bodyguards and things being confiscated and all of that. But our argument statement is simple... that all those things are only said to create a certain picture and misconception about Ms Myeni," argued Buthelezi. Buthelezi also denied claims of political interference in the Emirates deal and that Myeni was to blame for that. “There is no truth that [former] President Jacob Zuma said to Ms Myeni not to sign.
The second point that was related to him on the morning of the text saying please do not sign - she [Myeni] was speaking on behalf of the board, saying please don’t sign we are not done with our processes. There is not a shred of evidence thereafter of the chairperson saying this deal must never happen or the President said this about this deal. She doesn’t stand in the way of this deal," Buthelezi said.