DA welcomes a step closer to holding 'Dodging' Dlamini to account

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.

Social Grants Crisis: Magwaza and Dangor affidavits strengthen calls for parliamentary inquiry

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.

BOKAMOSO | Zuma’s mafia turns to intimidating the judiciary

Justice Malala recently wrote: “These are dangerous times indeed. The state and its leader have gone rogue”. The break-in at the office of the Chief Justice on Saturday shows just how true his words are. This is a direct attack on the judiciary by Jacob Zuma’s state security thugs. The Constitution is what stands between Zuma’s mafia state and the ability to loot with impunity. We would do well to defend it with all our might.


The timing of the break-in is no coincidence. It happened the day after our courts delivered two judgements that dealt significant blows to Zuma’s state capture agenda. The Constitutional Court ruled that Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, a key driver of Zuma’s succession agenda, displayed gross incompetence in fulfilling her duties to ensure that South Africa’s poorest continue to receive social grants.


On the same day, the North Gauteng High Court ruled that Major General Berning Ntlemeza’s appointment as head of the Hawks was irrational and invalid. The Hawks is a specialist police unit, specifically tasked with fighting corruption. Despite two previous court rulings that Ntlemeza is unfit to head it, Police Minister Nhleko, another of Zuma’s lackeys, insisted on retaining him. The fact is, our state has been captured by a crime syndicate that cannot tolerate an independent corruption-busting unit that actually does its job. This is why Nhleko is now appealing this ruling, at taxpayers’ expense.


These rulings are major setbacks for the Zuma mafia’s state capture agenda. The checks and balances in a constitutional democracy are specifically designed to protect ordinary citizens from the abuse of power. When you control the executive, and have a supine ANC caucus in the legislature, then only the judiciary is left as an obstacle. Our legal benches are filled with independent thinkers who understand objectivity, believe in the rule of law and who defend the Constitution without fear or favour. And it is both fear and favour that Zuma’s mafia is now trying to extract from the judiciary.


The only plausible inference from this bizarre story is that the break-in at the offices of the Chief Justice was deliberately staged in order to intimate judges into submission. Fifteen computers holding the personal information of South Africa’s 250 judges were stolen, from the second floor of a building with dozens of other computers and other valuables in it, all of which were left untouched. The message to judges is clear: oppose us at your peril. If this sounds alarmist, consider that on Monday the house of Zane Dangor, who resigned as Social Development Director General earlier this month in opposition to Dlamini’s handling of the social grants matter, was broken into by two men looking specifically for his laptop. They didn’t get it, because he had it on him and he wasn’t home, but they assaulted his son. The message is clear: talk, and we’ll come for you.


On Wednesday, in a pitiful attempt to portray the break-in at the Chief Justice’s office as a burglary, the Acting National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, announced that three arrests had been made. This was a poorly concealed setup: one of the three “suspects” was released the same day with no charges against him, and the charge sheets for the other two contained no mention of the break-in.


A politically intimidated or captured judiciary could leave us in the predicament that Zimbabweans and Venezuelans now face, and that the majority of South Africans faced during Apartheid South Africa: with no-one to turn to for protection from a hostile state. One step the DA would take to prevent this ever happening in South Africa, would be to allocate funds for a security budget for the judiciary. The judiciary shouldn’t have to rely on SAPS for protection, because SAPS answers to the executive.


The fact is, the judiciary is a direct threat to Zuma’s state capture project and he is using all available levers to fight it. For the Zuma mafia, nothing is sacred. They are taking a scorched earth approach to secure their survival. Very soon, those within the ANC who treasure our constitutional democracy will have to choose between their party, or a prosperous, free South Africa governed by a diverse group of people, bound by their steadfast commitment to the Constitution and its rule of law. 

Social Grants Crisis: SAPS must investigate suspicious break-ins

The DA will today write to the Acting National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, to request that he launches a full investigation into the break-in at the former Director General of the Department of Social Development, Zane Dangor’s home, as well as two other suspicious acts of intimidation that have occurred in recent days.
On Monday, Dangor’s home was approached by two vehicles, and the men in these vehicles broke into his home and attacked his son. However, nothing was stolen and the police have therefore claimed that they could not investigate the incident.
Reports have also stated that the home of the CEO of SASSA, Thokozani Magwaza, was targeted by the same vehicles and the men approached his wife, however, they failed to break-in.
In the same week, the Office of the Chief Justice was also broken into and the assailants fled with 15 computers containing the personal information of judges and the personnel of the Department of Justice.
These three incidents are highly irregular, the timing is equally suspicious and seems to point to an orchestrated attempt of intimidation against the actors that are involved in the SASSA debacle.
The DA has already written to the Public Protector to request an investigation into the relationship between Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, and Cash Paymaster Services, as it is our belief that Dlamini manufactured this social grants crisis, risking the livelihoods of 17 million South Africans, to ensure CPS would continue to distribute grants.
Phahlane must investigate these cases of intimidation in order to establish if there is indeed a link between them, the motivations behind them, and who is responsible.
We cannot allow for those who are responsible for these incidents to get off scot-free, especially when the safety of innocent people are threatened.

Social Grants Crisis: DA to proceed with our application in Constitutional Court

The disgraceful contempt shown by the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, towards 17 million poor and vulnerable South Africans this morning, deserves condemnation in the strongest terms possible.
The DA is both shocked and angered by the Minister’s failure to table a clear plan to resolve this crisis. If anything her unwillingness to provide clear answers, determination to blame the media, and refusal to explain the Director General’s resignation, provides the clearest indication yet as to why we are in this mess today.
Indeed, Dlamini doesn’t care about the poor, or all those South Africans, young and old, who rely on a social grant to survive. She is in this job just to feed at the trough – not to make a difference.
President Zuma must also be held accountable for this growing crisis. He has remained silent until the last possible minute, and failed to fire Minister Dlamini – the bare minimum he could do – to show that he was equally concerned about grant recipients.
Jacob Zuma rewards failure, so long as it means he remains in power.
The DA will not let the ANC get away with taking grants away from our poor and vulnerable. We are ready to do whatever we can to ensure that every person who needs a grant, gets a grant, come 1st April 2017.
We will therefore continue with our application in the Constitutional Court, seeking accountability for those who have failed to ensure SASSA’s readiness to take over the distribution of grants and who have put the livelihoods of 17 million poor and vulnerable South Africans at risk.
As a part of our application, we have sought a declaratory order from the court confirming that the Minister of Social Development, the CEO of the SASSA and the SASSA, violated their duties in terms of sections 165(4) and (5) and section 195 of the Constitution.
We are further seeking a declaration that the Minister has violated her oath of office in failing to perform the functions of her office with honour, dignity and to the best of her ability.
Our preparations for our mass march this week Friday, 10 March 2017, are also continuing. We are ready to send a clear message to Minister Dlamini that her disdain for the poor will not be left unanswered. Dlamini must go and go now. We will make this clear on Friday.

DG resignation: Dlamini must go immediately

Reports today that Social Development Director-General, Zane Dangor, has resigned is yet another sign of the Social Development Minister’s destructive and toxic influence and should see her removed immediately.
The DA will write to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, Rosemary Capa, to request that she invite Mr Dangor to come before the committee to detail what has been taking place.
Dlamini has utterly failed to ensure that SASSA was ready to take over the distribution of grants at the end of this month when the current invalid CPS contract comes to an end and has allowed the situation to reach crisis point.
In fact, she has manufactured this crisis and even misled the Constitutional Court in October last year when she stated that SASSA would be ready to take over the distribution.
Dlamini cannot be trusted with the livelihoods of 17 million poor and vulnerable South Africans.
The President has more than enough cause to remove her and for the sake of millions of South Africans, the DA calls on him to do so immediately.