Although former South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Dudu Myeni was a no-show at the Pretoria High Court on Thursday, where she was set to face charges brought against her by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the SAA Pilots Association, her legal defence Mantsha Attorneys quickly asked for a postponement from Judge Ronel Tolmay.
This was granted after an adjournment in which the judge made Myeni’s legal team commit to not withdrawing from the case.
Myeni’s defence argued that they needed more time to prepare for the case, to which it was highlighted in court that the matter was brought forward in March 2017.
Tolmay highlighted that there had been previous postponements due to Myeni changing counsel, which could also pose further delays if the matter was postponed. Should Myeni change representation, her counsel could again argue that they needed more time to prepare as they were new to the case, Tolmay said. This week, it was reported that Myeni’s lawyer Dan Mantsha had withdrawn from the case.
Tolmay said he wanted assurances from Myeni’s defence that they will not withdraw as legal representation for Myeni. He provided Myeni’s defence with time to confirm they will not withdraw or be fired by Myeni, and adjourned proceedings for a short recess, after which the postponement was granted.
Outa’s head of legal Stefanie Fick had said that although Myeni’s counsel wanted a postponement, they still maintained that the request was not reasonable. She had hoped Tolmay would have agreed with Outa.
Court has been adjourned to October 21 at 10am.
(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko)