Social development minister Bathabile Dlamini has laid the blame for the current grants crisis at the feet of social security boss Thokozani Magwaza, writes Nomahlubi Jordaan.
In an affidavit submitted late on Monday to the Constitutional Court‚ Dlamini said she made it clear to Magwaza in February that she “expected Sassa executive to act urgently”.
Dlamini said these views were expressed to Magwaza‚ the CEO of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) at a meeting on February 20.
“I understand that Mr Magwaza adjourned the meeting very soon after I left. I know he did not heed my advice in that he did not take any urgent steps to redress the situation shortly after meeting.”
Dlamini said Magwaza had bypassed her and instituted proceedings at the Constitutional Court seven days after the meeting they had both attended. Dlamini also claims Magwaza has had “engagements” with the South African Post Office without her knowledge.
“Mr Magwaza instituted proceedings… while he was on sick leave without my concurrence and contrary to the advice of Sassa’s then legal team to the effect that Sassa should file a report with this court rather than apply to the court for any relief.”
In her affidavit‚ Dlamini also makes reference to Magwaza’s application to National Treasury for authority to deviate from the normal bidding process.
This he did‚ according to Dlamini‚ “with a view to seeking an extension of the current‚ invalid contract with Cash Paymaster Services‚ contrary to the advice that had been given to Sassa by its legal team … that the current contract could not validly be extended because when this Honorouble court’s suspension of its order of invalidity expires on 31 March‚ there will be nothing left to renew”.
Dlamini’s affidavit was in response to questions posed last week by the Constitutional Court‚ which had asked Dlamini and Sassa to explain the root of the grants crisis.