Note to Editors: Please find attached Zulu and English soundbites by the DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP.
The DA welcomes the appointment of Justice Bernard Ngoepe to head up the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini’s, role in causing the social grants crisis.
Some of the key matters that the inquiry will deal with are:
- Whether the Minister sought the appointment of individuals to lead “workstreams” who would report directly to her; and
- The reason why the Minister did not disclose to the Constitutional Court the fact that she appointed individuals to the “workstreams” and that they reported to her directly.
Dodging Dlamini has tried to shift the blame to the accounting officers, namely the former Director-General, Zane Dangor, and the former CEO, Thokozani Magwaza. However, this has failed and rightly so.
The DA have long been of the view that Dlamini manufactured the crisis, possibly for financial gain.
This is a welcome a step towards ensuring that Dlamini is held accountable and will shed light on the real reasons as to why SASSA was not able to institutionalise the grants payment system.
The DA looks forward to a date for the Inquiry being set and to ensuring that the Minister is made to face up to playing games.
The sudden resignation of SASSA CEO, Thokozani Magwaza, is yet another damning indication of the toxic influence that Minister Bathabile Dlamini has on SASSA and the Department of Social Development (DSD).
Magwaza is now the second senior official, after former DSD DG, Zane Dangor, who was coerced into resigning after his family’s safety was threatened.
The DA is gravely concerned about Magwaza’s departure as he has played an important role in finding an alternative service provider in line with the Constitutional Court deadline of 31 March 2018.
The relationship between Dlamini and Magwaza was severely strained by Dlamini’s insistence to establishing the irregular workstreams and ensuring the continuation of the lucrative CPS contract.
The DA will now write to the Minister to demand that she provides the reasons as to why Magwaza resigned.
This entire debacle has been constructed by Dlamimi and is yet another example of the Minister’s dodgy way of running the Department to the detriment of millions of South Africans.
The DA will today submit the affidavits of former director-general of the Department of Social Development (DSD), Zane Dangor, and SASSA CEO Thokozani Magwaza to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, Ms Rosemary Capa, to strengthen the call for a Parliamentary inquiry into the Social Grants Crisis.
The testimonies by Magwaza and Dangor, supports the DA’s long held belief that Minister Bathabile Dlamini deliberately bungled the process of procuring an alternative service provider to distribute the R10 billion in social grants payments, because she and her network of cronies could possibly benefit from the extension of the invalid CPS contract.
Yesterday, Zane Dangor filed an affidavit with the Constitutional Court in which he revealed that Dlamini “bypassed” departmental officials in order to ensure that CPS would continue to distribute social grants.
In fact, he stated that “parallel decision-making structures in the form of the work streams may have been deliberate to ensure a continued relationship with CPS under conditions favourable to CPS, through a self-created emergency”.
Dangor’s affidavit supports the affidavit filed by Thokozani Magwaza in which he suggested that Dlamini was determined to ensure that the distribution of social grants would not be institutionalised by SASSA, and “that since July 2015, the Minister had knowledge of inadequacies in SASSA to fulfil the objectives of the [Constitutional] court order”.
Dlamini has continued to dodge every effort to hold her accountable for the crisis she seemingly purposefully created and even survived Zuma’a midnight reshuffle despite her apparent failures. She has also attempted to lay the blame entirely at the feet of Magwaza and hardworking SASSA officials.
The DA believes that these affidavits strengthen the call for a full parliamentary inquiry into the debacle, which should be instituted to ensure that the Minister is held accountable for her reckless behaviour that threatened the only source of income for millions of poor South Africans.
Seeing that the President has completely failed to hold Dlamini to account, it is now up to Parliament to do so.