Dudu Myeni did not appoint herself as chairperson of South African Airways’ new board.
This was her response today when DA MP David Maynier asked the standing committee on finance in Parliament whether President Jacob Zuma had a hand in her re-election, and whether she thought it would be in the best interest of the airline that she resign.
Myeni finally arrived an hour and a half late for a meeting in which the newly constituted SAA board, together with deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile, were supposed to brief Parliament on their plans to turn around the ailing airline.
Jonas told the committee earlier this morning that Myeni had explained she had a medical problem and needed to visit a doctor.
Myeni confirmed this, telling the committee that she didn’t feel well.
“I must have eaten something last night. But thank you for understanding,” she said.
She acknowledged that she had missed many questions during her absence, and thought it would be appropriate to have a look at the questions and to offer her input, and later submit written feedback to the committee.
She appeared confident anwering Maynier’s question.
“This question was asked in a previous sitting. And I answered thoroughly and in writing. But what I want to say is that I did not appoint myself. It was a Cabinet decision.”
She promised to elaborate in her written response.
Myeni expressed her happiness that the new board has been appointed.
“A load was taken off our shoulders,” she said, adding that previously there were only three board members and now the board was operational.
She said various sub-committees had been appointed, and these would make the board better. This would lead to an improved airline, she said.
Myeni also thanked Treasury for the continued support it had given to the SAA.