Sassa CEO opposes Bathabile Dlamini’s claims over grants debacle

SASSA CEO Thokozani Magwaza.

SASSA CEO Thokozani Magwaza.

Thokozani Magwaza says the minister’s version of events is inaccurate.

South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Thokozani Magwaza on Wednesday filed papers with the Constitutional Court refuting allegations made by Social Department Minister Bathabile Dlamini with the court last week.

In his papers before the court, Magwaza disputed the minister’s submissions that she should not solely take responsibility for the social grants saga that gripped the country last month amid concerns that social assistance grants would not be paid on April 1 to about 11 million recipients following the grants agency’s failure to come up with an in-house payment system.

The ConCourt had ruled in 2014 that Sassa’s contract with its service provider Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) was constitutionally invalid.

The court was given assurances by Sassa and the social development department in 2015 that it would create the internal payment system after it failed to secure a new service provider to replace CPS.

In March, the court had to intervene in the crisis and extended the contract with CPS for another 12 months following an application by The Black Sash Trust, which asked the court to resume its supervisory role over the payment of grants.

The ConCourt also ordered Dlamini to file her response on March 31 explaining why she should not personally pay her own legal costs from her own pocket over the scandal.

EWN reported that Magwaza wanted permission from the ConCourt to file his own papers to give an account of the events that took place during the Sassa payment debacle after Dlamini placed the blame on his door.

He also wants to dispel the perceptions that the public may harbour against him over the matter.


UPDATE: Bathabile Dlamini files papers with ConCourt electronically

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