Former South African Airways board chairperson Dudu Myeni will face a summons if she once again fails to appear before the parliamentary inquiry into state capture next week.
Myeni is to be subpoenaed to appear before the inquiry into the alleged capture of Eskom by the Guptas after she snubbed the hearings on Wednesday.
Myeni was expected to appear before the public enterprises committee that is probing allegations of corruption and mismanagement at Eskom‚ but made a no-show despite being called to testify more than a week ago.
The committee wanted to hear Myeni’s version of events about her alleged influence in Eskom affairs after she was implicated in November last year by former Eskom board chairperson Zola Tsotsi‚ who told the committee that Myeni had dictated at a meeting in Durban in March 2015 which Eskom executives needed to be suspended at the time.
Tsotsi alleged that then-president Jacob Zuma had been present at that meeting. The former president and Myeni are said to be close friends.
Tsotsi said he was given an instruction by Myeni to suspend three senior Eskom executives‚ including former Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona.
ANC MP and chairperson of the Eskom inquiry Zukiswa Rantho told the committee on Wednesday that Myeni only sent an SMS to the committee’s secretary yesterday that she was not ready to testify before the inquiry because her lawyer had not yet been able to advise her on the legal implications of her appearance before the committee.
“It’s only from yesterday that the lawyer became aware that she has to come to the inquiry. They will look at the legalities of coming to the inquiry and then she will revert to us by writing a letter when they’ve done their work with her lawyers‚ then she apologised in the SMS for being unavailable.
“So up to now we have an SMS‚ not a formal letter. Parliament has written a formal letter inviting her and we did not invite her yesterday or today‚ we have given her enough time to respond‚” said Rantho.
Committee members were divided over whether Myeni should be immediately issued with a summons or whether she should be given one more opportunity to appear voluntarily‚ failing which a summons would be issued to force her to do so.
Rantho said the issue would be discussed with evidence leader Ntuthuzelo Vanara and the legal team to decide on the way to proceed.
ACDP MP Steve Swart said Myeni’s explanation was nothing but an “unacceptable delaying tactic”.
“It’s unacceptable that on the day of the inquiry‚ witnesses are telling us they need more time… we would suggest that we issue a subpoena which we are entitled to do in terms of the act‚” he said.
DA MP Natasha Mazzone also called for Myeni to be summonsed.[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“When we ask people to come and testify here‚ we’re asking them to do their country duty and it’s most unfortunate that we have to summon someone.
“Given the fact that someone is playing a little game over here… If we want things done legally‚ as per Ms Dudu Myeni‚ let’s do it completely legally and let’s summon her to appear before the committee‚” she said.
Another ANC MP‚ Zukile Luyenge‚ said they proposed that a fresh letter be issued to Myeni telling her to appear before the committee next Tuesday or Wednesday‚ failing which she would be summonsed.
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