Dudu Myeni arrested on fraud and corruption charges

Dudu Myeni arrested on fraud and corruption charges

Former SAA chair Dudu Myeni and former Sondolo IT director Trevor Mathenjwa were arrested on Friday and appeared briefly in the Richards Bay Magistrates Court, KwaZulu-Natal. 

Their passports have been handed over to the investigation authorities for the duration of the investigation.

The case stems from alleged gratification that Myeni received during her tenure as SAA board chairperson and relates to security upgrades she received at her home in Richard Bay between May 2014 and March 2015 to the tune of R200,000, according to National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Investigating Directorate (ID) spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka.

“During the tenure of Myeni as chairperson of the SAA, she had a legal duty to disclose her interests in terms of the SAA Conflict of Interest Policy, which we allege she failed to do so,” said Seboka.

Dudu Myeni and Trevor Mathenjwa in court

Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni (left) appeared in the Richards Bay Magistrates’ Court with Trevor Mathenjwa (right), a former Bosasa executive. (Photo: Dasen Thathiah eNCA / X)

The ID further claims Mathenjwa allegedly facilitated or was behind the security updates. The State also contends that Myeni benefited from lavish travel arrangements and hotel stays for herself and family members to the tune of over R107,000.

Hence, Seboka added, Myeni stands accused of corruption for receiving gratification from Bosasa subsidiary Sondolo IT, offered by Mathenjwa. 

“Myeni is accused of having received security upgrades for her Richards Bay premises during May 2014 to March 2015, to the value of R200,000. She is further accused of benefiting from hotel accommodation and travel expenses for her and persons close to her, from Bosasa, facilitated by Blake Travels, between May 2014 and March 2015 for over R107,000,” Seboka said.

Myeni legal quagmire

Myeni was also implicated during State Capture investigations when former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi alleged he met Myeni on five occasions — including once in a boardroom at the InterContinental at OR Tambo airport in the presence of former SAA acting CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout.

Testifying before the State Capture Commission in March 2019, Agrizz also testified that he had accompanied his former boss, Gavin Watson, to a meeting with Myeni during which there was a discussion about Bosasa taking over a security tender as well as a catering contract.

Myeni, he previously testified, was the recipient of a Louis Vuitton handbag courtesy of Bosasa, stuffed with monthly payments of R300,000 in cash.

Dudu Myeni

Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni, with her lawyer Nqabayethu Buthelezi, appeared in the Richards Bay Magistrates’ Court. (Photo: Dasen Thathiah eNCA / X)

Agrizzi also reconfirmed that his understanding of the R300,000 payments to Myeni was for “onward” payment to the Jacob Zuma Foundation.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Dudu Myeni slapped with R120,000 fine or two years in jail after revealing identity of protected Zondo witness

In May 2020, a high court declared Myeni a delinquent director and banned her for life from holding any directorship position. She was further ordered to abandon all her directorships, including her roles as SAA chairperson, executive chairperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation and deputy chairperson of Free State electricity distribution company Centlec. In April 2021, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed one of her two appeals against the delinquent-for-life ruling.

Agrizzi psychiatric observation

The arrest and release on bail of Myeni and Mathenjwa pair came 24 hours after Pretoria high court Judge David Makhoba ruled that Agrizzi be referred for mental observation to determine his fitness to stand trial in the R1.8-billion Bosasa and Correctional Services Department (DCS) matter.

Agrizzi appeared virtually before Makhoba. Handing down this ruling, Makhoba said that it was not for the court to decide whether a person is mentally fit to stand trial or not, instead, it is for the professionals to decide. 

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi gestures during his testimony at the State Capture Commission in Johannesburg on 22 January 2019. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Alon Skuy)

Furthermore, the judge declared that it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that Agrizzi is safely taken to a psychiatric institution and that he takes his medication.

Agrizzi was diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, acute renal failure, and liver dysfunction by pulmonologist Dr Muhammad Chohan. Agrizzi is mechanically ventilated and sedated, but he is conscious and on continuous dialysis. The results of Agrizzi’s mental fitness have been postponed until 31 October.

This matter relates to four tenders awarded to Bosasa and its subsidiaries between August 2004 and 2007. The tender was for rendering catering and training services, installation of CCTV cameras, installing perimeter fencing and supplying a television system and monitoring equipment. 

Myeni and Mathenjwa will be back in court on 17 November. At this point, the State will make an application to have the case transferred to Gauteng as the majority of the case’s witnesses live in the province. DM

Source: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2023-09-29-dudu-myeni-and-ex-sondolo-it-director-trevor-mathenjwa-get-bail-on-fraud-and-corruption-charges/