Former South African Airways (SAA) board chair Dudu Myeni sent an SMS to the Eskom inquiry to say she will not be present to give evidence on Wednesday.
Myeni was invited to give testimony, but failed to arrive in Parliament on Wednesday.
Last year she was implicated in the testimony of former Eskom chair Zola Tsotsi.
Tsotsi told the inquiry in November 2017 that he met with Myeni in March 2015, at her request, at the Durban presidential residence. According to Tsotsi, she discussed with him the suspension of Eskom’s then chief executive Tshediso Matona and executives Dan Marokane and Matshela Koko.
Chair of the inquiry Zukiswa Rantho explained that the committee had written a formal letter inviting Myeni to testify. However, she only engaged with the committee’s secretary via SMS.
In the messages Myeni said that she was waiting for guidance from her lawyer, and that the lawyer had not been following the inquiry because it may not have been of interest, Rantho informed committee members.
“The lawyer arrived yesterday. Only yesterday her lawyer became aware she (Myeni) must come to the inquiry,” said Rantho.
Myeni’s lawyer will look into the “legalities” of attending the inquiry. She will then revert back with a written letter.
“She apologised in the SMS for being unavailable,” she said.
Rantho said the committee had given Myeni enough time to respond to the formal letter it had sent to her, and she has persisted in only responding with SMSes.
Committee members were not pleased. MP Steven Swart suggested Myeni be subpoenaed, as did MPs Narend Singh and Natasha Mazzone. MP Zukile Luyenge said Myeni should be summoned if she does not appear before next week Wednesday.
Swart raised concerns that others invited to testify might take the same route as Myeni to avoid appearing.
Mazzone added that it is not an “acceptable excuse” for Myeni to say that her lawyer has not been following the inquiry. – Fin24