Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: GCIS

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ConCourt orders Minister Dlamini to pay part costs for grants payment debacle

JOHANNESBURG, September 27 – The Constitutional Court on Thursday ordered former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini to pay 20 percent of costs related to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grant payment debacle.

Reading the unanimous judgment, Justice Johan Froneman said: “Minister Bathabile is, in her personal capacity, ordered to pay 20 percent of the costs of Black Sash Trust and Freedom Under Law in the application, including the costs of two counsel”.

He also took issue with Dlamini’s testimony which he said was not truthful. She is now minister of women in the Presidency.

“This court directed the Registrar to forward a copy of the inquiry report to the National Director of the Public Prosecution to determine whether to prosecute the minister for perjury,” said Froneman.

The Concourt also ordered that the Minister of Social development, Chief executive Officer of Sassa and Sassa pay 80 percent of the costs.

Freedom Under Law and the Black Sash Trust brought the application for a costs order, blaming Dlamini for the 11th-hour applications to the country’s highest court which led to extensions of the department’s dodgy contract with Cash Paymaster Services to pay social grants.

Last month the ConCourt ruled that Sassa and then interim CEO Pearl Bhengu were liable for costs relating to the extension of the application.

Bhengu was found liable in her official capacity as then acting CEO, but not in her personal capacity.

The Democratic Alliance called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Dlamini from her current portfolio as the minister of women in the Presidency.

“The social grants crisis shows that Dlamini cannot be trusted with championing the rights of the most vulnerable in society,” the DA’s social development spokeswoman Bridget Masango said.

“President Ramaphosa can no longer ignore this fact and would fire her immediately if he has any care for the millions of people she has already and will continue to endanger.” (ANA)

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