Defiant SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni is primed to be re-elected in the role this coming Friday – cementing her position as de-facto head of the airline until her term ends in 2018.
This is according to a report by The Times, citing sources who are close to the process currently taking place through Cabinet to establish a new SAA board.
Cabinet has reportedly been handed a list of 13 names for consideration, and will make an announcement on Friday, The Times reported.
According to the paper, Myeni’s presence on the list is a “massive compromise” on the part of National Treasury, which has not minced its words in expressing its desire for the current chair to be given the boot.
However, a list of names submitted by finance minister Pravin Gordhan, which excluded Myeni, was reportedly outright rejected by president Jacob Zuma.
Myeni is a personal friend of Zuma’s, and heads up the Jacob Zuma Foundation.
The chair is widely blamed for the mismanagement and maladministration at SAA, which has led to the airline’s crushing financial difficulties over the better part of the last decade.
SAA has received a number of government bailouts worth at least R14.4 billion over the years, and is looking for another R5 billion guarantee from Treasury.
Gordhan has refused to sign off on the guarantee while the current board is still in power.
It is speculated that a similar position held by former finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene, is what cost him his job – and is also playing a role in current pressure Gordhan is facing from Hawks.
According to legislation, Myeni can only hold the position for three terms of three years. She was first elected as chair in 2009.