New SAA board takes shape

The cabinet is today expected to announce that defiant board chairman of crisis-ridden state airline SAA, Dudu Myeni, will serve yet another term at its helm following deliberations yesterday.

The Times can exclusively reveal the 13 names of the possible board members that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan submitted to a sitting of cabinet yesterday.

Chaired by Minister Susan Shabangu in the absence of President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the cabinet will select 10 names, which will be sent to Zuma for ratification.

Several sources said the composition of the list indicated compromise from both Zuma and Gordhan.

The biggest compromise is the return of controversial chairman Myeni to the board.

A source who saw the list said Myeni had been nominated as chairman.

Former SAA chief financial officer Tryphosa Ramano is expected to be her deputy.

Another source said according to legislation, Myeni, who has been a director at SAA since 2009, could serve only three three-year terms in office.

“She [Myeni] will be chair and her contract is for two years and cannot be extended, but the proviso is that there is a review of the positions and performance of the chair and deputy chair every two years,” said the source.

Another source described the names as a compromise but “the majority are people close to Myeni and the president”.

“Perhaps the Treasury was left with no choice,” said the source.

The Treasury referred all queries to the cabinet, but the cabinet can only communicate its decisions via a statement a day after its meetings.

Two national Treasury sources said Gordhan’s own list was submitted to Zuma for approval as early as April, but it was not approved because of Myeni’s absence.

Zuma’s spokesman, Bongani Ngqulunga, previously dismissed suggestions of a rift between the president and Gordhan.

The board members will be announced today. This could trigger a process that wouldculminate in the approval of SAA’s request for a government guarantee, said to be around R5-billion.

Included in the list submitted to cabinet is Mzimkulu Malunga, former managing director of Businesss Day and Financial Mail, Umkhonto weSizwe veteran and former ANC MP Peter Maluleka, attorney Peter Tshisevhe, Nazmeera Moola, an economist, and Stavros Nicolaou, a senior executive in the pharmaceutical industry. Other nominees are Akhtar Moosa, Gugu Sepamla, Swazi Tshabalala, Martha Mbatha, Siphile Buthelezi and Thandeka Mgoduso.