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Presidency refutes claims of Zuma lawyer participating in Sassa meetings

While the Presidency claims to be unaware of those meetings, reports suggest Michael Hulley did take part in them.

FILE: A Sassa card. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – The Presidency has on Sunday evening refuted claims that President Jacob Zuma’s legal advisor took part in secret meetings with top managers of the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa).

While the Presidency in a short statement claims to be unaware of those meetings, a Sunday Times report says Michael Hulley took part in them.

According to the paper, Hulley has been named as the person who advised Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to go against legal opinions, recommending that she should let the Constitutional Court decide the fate of the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract

Meanwhile, President Zuma has reassured beneficiaries that grants will be paid next month, urging South Africa to “cool down”.

COSATU REITERATES CALL FOR DLAMINI TO GO

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has reiterated its call for Minister Dlamini to remove herself from office in light of the Sassa debacle.

The statement was part of the memorandum the trade union intended to hand over to the department following a picket outside Parliament earlier on Sunday.

There was, however, no official to receive the document.

Both Sassa and the Department of Social Development have come under fire after failing to ensure a new contract is in place when the contract with CPS lapses at the end of March.

Cosatu Chairperson Motlatsi Tsubane said, “We don’t want to fight with the minister but what we are saying to her is that she dealt with this matter in a very clumsy manner and there is no way, no defensive mode, that can change and rectify the manner in which she dealt with it.”

The Union's Secretary Tony Ehrenreich has echoed his sentiment

“We want the minister gone and we want the presidency to intervene to make sure that we have a proper social security system in place.”

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