Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni illegally used State Security Agency (SSA) VIP protection, proving the power she possessed at the time and her proximity to former president Jacob Zuma.
This is revealed in the first part of the state capture report which was handed to President Cyril Ramaphosa by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the chairperson of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, on Tuesday.
The report said Myeni used state security resources for her personal protection and to intimidate other board members.
The use of the detail was irregular and unlawful, a waste of state resources, and furthered the object of state capture by creating a climate of fear and lack of transparency.
It says Myeni did not lawfully qualify for protective VIP services, but received the services from the SSA nevertheless.
Lingaraj Gary Moonsamy, the head of department for group security services at SAA, provided an affidavit to the commission that Myeni was provided with security services by SAA for four months, after which she obtained her own security detail.
Reads the report: Moonsamy did not know who had appointed them or where they came from. Moonsamy explained that in doing so Myeni breached SAA policy by not making prior arrangements before arriving at SAA with her own security detail. Her security personnel refused to sign in when they arrived at SAA. This was also a violation of the SAA policy.
It says that information before the commission shows that Myeni had access to undercover operatives trained in counter-intelligence strategies and intelligence gathering.
“This reveals how powerful Myeni was and how close she was to president Zuma,” the report says.
It adds that Myeni operated as SAA board chairperson with suspicions about the management of the airline, which was abnormal for the board chair of a public entity:Myeni operated SAA under a cloud of fear, intimidation, secrecy and paranoia when a public entity should be operated transparently and with accountability to the South African people who fund its operations.
It states that when Myeni was asked when she appeared before the commission about the unlawful deployment of SSA operatives she refused to answer, invoking the privilege against self-incrimination.
“Myeni’s refusal to be accountable for her actions is regrettable. She clearly received favours from the SSA to which she was not lawfully entitled. She employed those resources during her time as a chairperson of the board of SAA for ulterior purposes,” concluded the report.
It recommended that Ramaphosa take note of the involvement of the SSA in security vetting and take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that services of the agency are not abused in the future to serve the interests or agenda of certain individuals.