State Capture Inquiry finds SAA ‘racked by corruption and fraud’ under Dudu Myeni | Fin24

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Former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni.

  • The first part of the State Capture Inquiry report, released on Tuesday, has recommended probes into the affairs of numerous former high-ranking SAA officials who served under ex-chairperson Dudu Myeni. 
  • These include investigations by law enforcement agencies into what happened to millions of rands that allegedly flowed into the bank accounts of Myeni and the Jacob Zuma Foundation from a Free State housing tender. 
  • The report also recommended Airports Company of South Africa should take steps to recover millions of rands paid to Gupta-linked Regiments Capital.

The first part of the State Capture Inquiry report has recommended that numerous former high-ranking South African Airways officials be investigated for fraud and corruption during the tenure of the airline’s ex-chairperson Dudu Myeni. 

“SAA declined during the tenure of Ms Myeni to an entity racked by corruption and fraud. Despite this, she was retained as its chairperson well beyond the point at which she should have been removed,” the report states. 

The 874-page first section of the report was handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday evening by the inquiry’s chair, acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, at a low-key ceremony at the Union Buildings. The second section is expected to be handed over by the end of January, and the third by the end of February.

The report recommended that law enforcement agencies and the National Prosecuting Authority investigate numerous cases of corruption and fraud at SAA, SAA Technical and SA Express, uncovered during three years of hearings. 

These include probes into:

  • Myeni illegally disclosing the identity of a whistleblower; 
  • what happened to millions of rands that allegedly flowed into the bank accounts of Myeni and the Jacob Zuma Foundation from a housing project in the Free State province;
  • whether Myeni is guilty of fraud for “knowingly” misrepresenting decisions taken by SAA’s board to two finance ministers;
  • whether R28.5 million was paid, in apparent kickbacks, in a deal with Swissport for a ground handling contract; 
  • whether JM Aviation paid any VAT to SARS on the R28.5 million it received from Swissport;
  • the affairs of former Airports Company South Africa group treasurer Phetolo Ramosebudi and Eric Wood, a businessman linked to the Gupta family, for corruption linked to an interest rate swap deal.  

The report also ruled that:

  • The Airports Company of South Africa should take steps to recover millions of rands paid to Gupta-linked Regiments Capital under the abovementioned interest swap contract;
  • former SAA Technical procurement head Nontsasa Memela, and others, be investigated by the NPA for forging documents. The report also suggested that Memela be probed by the Legal Practice Council and, if found guilty, struck off the roll of advocates; 
  • former SAA board member Yakhe Kwinana be probed by the South African Institute of Charted Accountants as she appeared to have “no clue” about some of the basic obligations the job entails. 

The people’s report 

Ramaphosa promised to make all sections public shortly after receiving them, saying the report really “belongs to the people of South Africa”.

In a statement on Tuesday, the president said he would be submitting the full report, together with an “indication” of how its findings would be implemented, to Parliament by the end of June. 

*Correction: An earlier version of this article stated the report recommended that law enforcement agencies probe millions of rands that allegedly flowed into the bank accounts of Myeni and the Jacob Zuma Foundation from SAA. The actual source of the funds in question, according to the report, is not SAA but a Free State housing tender.   



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