Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
5 Nov 2020
12:56 pm

If I was white, I would not be presumed guilty, Myeni tells Zondo

Makhosandile Zulu

The former SAA chair says there is a notion that if a person is black, they are a criminal, and if they are associated to Jacob Zuma, are corrupt.

Former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni testifies remotely at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. Picture: Neil McCartney

Myeni said her apprehension was that she came before the commission knowing clearly that “I am a culprit, I am a criminal” because of a narrative that a certain grouping was guilty.

Myeni told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that the commission’s investigators and evidence leaders “may be doing something” he is not aware of, adding that she feels that “there is a certain factional group that is being hunted”.

She alleged that certain people had been denied the opportunity to present evidence of corruption at the commission because that evidence does not suit the narrative being pushed forward.

Myeni said she, too, has previously wished to come before Zondo “but when I studied the mood” and had looked at occurrences at the commission and pronouncements in the media “I realised that it is not a winnable attempt”.

She recalled that she had asked during her first day of testimony on Wednesday whether her taking the stand at the commission was her being put on trial.

“I sit here as a wanted [person],” Myeni said, adding that she is considered as somebody who has stolen money, defrauded some state entities, “or who captured state entities” but no evidence was presented in court to prove she had taken money.

“South Africa does not know that [there is no evidence presented],” she said.

Myeni said she felt that appearing before Zondo would ensure that South Africans knew “that I am guilty by association to [former president] Jacob Zuma”.

“[Zuma] has never told me why he has been hunted down,” Myeni said, adding that if it were possible she would reverse her decision to associate with Zuma and the running of his foundation, the Jacob G Zuma Foundation. She is the foundation’s executive chairperson.

Myeni said in her career as an award-winning black businesswoman, there has never been a “black spot” to her leadership style and that now she was being hounded as part of political conspiracies when she is not a politician but rather a “solid businesswomen”.

She took issue with some of the questions evidence leader Kate Hofmeyr had posed to her, saying they feed into the narrative that she is a “liar”, a “criminal” and has a “moral inferiority complex”, and a belief that if a person is black they are a criminal, and if they are associated to Jacob Zuma, are corrupt.

Myeni further took exception at Hofmeyr asking her if she understood the definition of fraud and whether fraud was bad or not, saying if she did not understand its meaning, she would not have been able to unearth corruption.

She also said that if she had the choice, she would choose to be of a different race, with the surname “Mrs White or van der Merwe” because such names would give her credibility.

Myeni raised her concerns with a witness being allowed to testify in camera and being “trusted”, asking how the witness, Mr X, could fear for his life and testify in camera when they, too, were allegedly involved in criminal activity.

Mr X earlier this year told Zondo that Myeni instructed him to transfer R1 million into the bank account of Zuma’s foundation.

She alleged that some of the witnesses that have appeared before the commission were guilty but testify before Zondo “to taint the names of certain people”.

“I wish I was a madame Venter because by virtue of the colour I would not be presumed guilty to prove my innocence,” Myeni said.

Watch the proceedings live below, courtesy of the SABC:

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