Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Dudu Myeni fired as SAA chair

Dudu Myeni has been removed from the board of South African Airways in what could be a range of changes made to the leadership of the embattled airline.

The Mail & Guardian understands that Myeni will be replaced by businessperson JB Magwaza who has been appointed as the new board chairperson.

It appears that members of the existing board have not been notified of possible impending changes, according to one source with knowledge of the matter.

The speculated changes come just ahead of the medium-term budget where the final details of a plan to recapitalise the failing airline are expected to be announced.

The airline has already received over R5-billion in bailouts during the course of the year, after international banks Standard Chartered and Citibank refused to extend debt repayments for SAA.

Outstanding debt of R5-billion is still owed to domestic lenders, which extended the repayment deadline to October 31. The agreement with domestic banks provides for an extension until the end of March 2019 provided the required equity injection into SAA is tabled in the adjustments budget and approved by Parliament.

Myeni – who is seen as close to Jacob Zuma – has been widely criticised for her leadership of the airline. She has been in the role since she became acting chairperson in 2012.

Over the last five years, the airline has accumulated over R15-billion in losses, while government support for SAA has reached almost R24-billion since 2008, according to an analysis done by transport economist Joachim Vermooten.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and the SAA Pilots Association have applied to the courts to have her declared a delinquent director.

The M&G has previously reported on their case – which lays out some of the more controversial decisions she has made including alleged attempts to scupper a critical deal with France’s Airbus.

Myeni, however, has long denied criticisms against her, arguing instead that she has only sought to promote transformation at SAA and combat entrenched corruption.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Lynley Donnelly
Lynley Donnelly
Lynley is a senior business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. But she has covered everything from social justice to general news to parliament - with the occasional segue into fashion and arts. She keeps coming to work because she loves stories, especially the kind that help people make sense of their world.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Capitec Bank flies high above Viceroy’s arrow

The bank took a knock after being labelled a loan shark by the short seller, but this has not stymied its growth

Zondo may miss chief justice cut

The deputy chief justice is said to top Ramaphosa’s list but his position as head of the state capture commission is seen as too politically fraught

More top stories

How Alpha Condé overthrew Alpha Condé

Since the coup d’état, Guinea’s head of state has been in the custody of the military officers. But it was the president who was the primary architect of his own downfall

‘The Making of Mount Edgecombe’: A view of history from...

Indian indentured labourers’ lives are celebrated in a new book, Sugar Mill Barracks: The Making of Mount Edgecombe

Case of men arrested with 19 rhino horns is postponed

Alleged rhino kingpin and a Mpumalanga businessman appeared in court on charges of the illegal possession and selling of rhino horns

Zuma’s rescission application dismissed with costs

Former president Jacob Zuma fails to meet requirements in his application to set aside his contempt order and prison sentence

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…