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Celebrating Dudu Myeni

By BO Staff Writer

As the nation celebrated the firing of former minister of education, Blade Nzimande, it was revealed that South African Airways (SAA) board chair, Dudu Myeni would be leaving the airline.

Myeni’s contract was coming to an end, so for some, this came as no surprise, but for others who admired Myeni as a champion for transformation, the news came as a shock.

Nevertheless, Myeni’s work speaks for itself.

A year ago Myeni said, “I am [labelled] incompetent because R24bn must benefit black South Africans, I am also incompetent because I have seen the reason why the airline was losing money.” It is precisely because of this reason that Myeni became an object of vilification from the white establishment (the white owned media and the racist Democratic Alliance) and its black lackeys (Economic Freedom Fighters).

The SAA annual procurement budget is R24 billion. We shockingly discovered last year that 98% of this budget goes to white companies. Myeni questioned this racist pattern of spending of the procurement budget. She demanded transformation and this obviously angered white businesses who in turn also own the media that was unleashed upon her.

Last year we reported that:

“After years of working in the public and private sector, Myeni took on the reigns as SAA chairperson in January 2015, after the SOE had been dragged to the ground by years of financial mismanagement and looting by white males. She drastically cut losses of the airline from R5.6 billion in the 2014/2015 financial year to R1.4 billion in the 2015/2016 financial year, and this number is set to decrease in the next two years.

Browsing through white media reports about Myeni and the finacial problems SAA currently faces, no one mentions that in 2001, former SAA CEO Coleman Andrews bagged a golden handshake of R232 million after the airline made a loss of more than R700 million that year. How another white CEO, Andre Viljoen took home a R3.6 million pay out on top of a R2.2 million salary and a R1 million performance bonus, even though the airline lost more than R15 billion under Viljoen! Meanwhile, Myeni received only R840 000 last year.”

Think about it. With all of the allegations the media puts up against Myeni, which have ever been proved to be correct? On the other hand, there is mounting evidence which shows how white companies are unduly benefiting from SAA.

As Myeni also revealed, historical problems of the airline she was trying to fix were connected to one of the previous CEOs, Coleman Andrews who milked the airline dry for himself and his white friends, and then gave himself a golden handshake of over R200 million.

As with all warriors for transformation, Myeni’s image was smeared with no evidence of wrongdoing. The lie that Myeni is corrupt was repeated over and over again until people could do nothing besides associate her with corruption.

As part of SAA, Myeni has had to deal with misogynistic and racist criticisms from the opposition parties, white capital and their allies in the white mainstream media. And of course, one cannot speak about misogyny and women in the political space without mentioning the crude misogyny of Julius Malema and how Myeni was constantly at the receiving end of his vileness.

Statements Malema made about Myeni will not be written here as we seek not to reproduce his misogyny and diminish the agency of Myeni.

Throughout the slander, Myeni also became a beacon of hope for black women in politics and business, defending herself, her name and her family intensely. While defending herself against a white racist man from the DA at a SCOPA sitting who had questioned how she could afford to send her family to a hotel overnight, Myeni said the DA member’s “problem is that you don’t think that black women and black people” were capable and deserving of acheiving certain goals. She firmly let it be known that she was a black business woman who had the right to move around with her family as she pleased.

Myeni’s fierceness and confidence in her skills as a black woman business has drawn the positve attention of many.

BO wishes Myeni all the best in her future endeavours and may she never tire of fighting for the Black truth.

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