Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni has been ordered to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture around 2pm on Tuesday after she pulled a no-show despite being summonsed.
Myeni, who has been declared a delinquent director after a court application by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the SAA Pilots’ Association’s, has been implicated by various witnesses before the commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
During proceedings on Tuesday, Zondo instructed Myeni’s legal representative, Nqabayethu Buthelezi, to inform the former SAA chairperson that she should make herself available to testify at the commission by 2pm either in person or virtually through Zoom.
“This is the decision I have reached. One, it is not acceptable that Ms Myeni did not comply with the summons and presented herself at the hearing this morning. Two, from what I have heard there appears not to have been any valid reason for her not to appear,” Zondo said.
The chairperson further said a criminal charge would be laid even if Myeni makes herself available.
“The secretary of the commission must take steps to lay a criminal complaint with the South African Police Service (Saps) against her for acting in breach of the summons and the Commissions Act. I direct that she should make herself available to give evidence today whether it’s via Zoom or any other methods used for her to appear virtually,” he said.
Zondo earlier said that when an implicated witness instructs his/her legal team to apply for a postponement, they should be there whether the person is sick or not.
Earlier, Buthelezi made an application to postpone Myeni’s testimony.
The advocate told the commission that Myeni’s failure to appear was not an indication of reluctance on her part or defiance of the commission’s summons.
He said Myeni wrote to the commission last week to request a postponement, but she did not receive a reply.
Evidence leader Kate Hofmeyr argued it was a criminal offence not to appear before the commission, adding that Myeni abused her privilege to remain silent and not answering some questions during her previous testimony.
Hofmeyr pointed out that Myeni made no effort to respond to the commission’s legal team’s correspondence so she could receive documents for her to be able to testify.
‘Myeni outs witness’
In November last year, the commission lodged a criminal complaint against Myeni for revealing the identity of a witness.
Zondo had instructed that the person’s identity should not be made public and he was thus referred to as “Mr X”.
The chairperson said he took the decision after reviewing Myeni’s affidavit explaining her conduct when she recently identified Mr X at the commission.
Zondo said the police would investigate whether Myeni contravened Section 5 of the Commissions Act or regulation 9 of the inquiry’s regulations.
Testifying at the commission earlier that month, Myeni revealed the identity of Mr X, the witness who alleged she had instructed him to transfer R1 million into the account of the Jacob G Zuma Foundation, which she chairs.