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‘Social development DG’s resignation shows evil forces are winning’

Bathabile Dlamini has evaded several parliamentary committee meetings and the DA says it’s affecting Parliament’s oversight role.

FILE: Former social development director general Zane Dangor. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Chairperson of Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) Themba Godi says the resignation of social development director general Zane Dangor shows that the forces of evil are winning.

Godi was speaking on the recent South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) debacle and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s media briefing at the weekend.

At the briefing, Dlamini refused to comment on Dangor’s resignation.

In 2014, Sassa’s contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) was declared unlawful by the Constitutional Court, preventing it from being renewed and leaving uncertainty around whether 17 million South Africans will receive their social grant payouts on 1 April.

Godi says Dangor’s resignation was as result of corruption winning.

“One particular element is in the resignation of the DG of the department, about which we are very much disappointed. An honest and hardworking civil servant has left because the forces of evil have succeeded.”

He says it is surprising to see that government would want to continue doing business with a company that had a contract declared unlawful by the Constitutional Court.

Godi says while there are Sassa officials who want to work diligently, the current crisis has been manufactured by people who insist on doing business with CPS.

'RAMAPHOSA MUST ORDER DLAMINI TO APPEAR IN COURT'

The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to instruct Minister Dlamini to attend a meeting of Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts on Tuesday.

She’s been summoned to appear after failing to attend last week's meeting at which Sassa officials were called to account for millions of rand in irregular expenditure.

At the time, Dlamini said she did not account to Scopa, but to Parliament's portfolio committee on Social Development.

The minister has evaded several parliamentary committee meetings and the opposition says it’s affecting Parliament’s oversight role, especially in the wake of the social grants crisis.

The DA’s Bridget Masango who is also a member of Parliament's social development committee, says despite reports of a new deal with Cash Paymaster Services, no concrete plan of action has been put before the committee.

“There is no way 17 million recipients of grants cannot be paid but it a process leading to that and that has been an issue here. To say members of the committee have not seen any plan,”

In Parliament on Thursday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane is expected to ask Ramaphosa how many times he’s requested Dlamini to appear before Parliament and its committees.

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