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Opposition parties shocked, disappointed by Magwaza’s axing

Scopa chair Themba Godi says the axing of Thokozani Magwaza could not have come at a worse time for the agency.

FILE: Thokozani Magwaza. Picture: Twitter/@OfficialSASSA.

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties say they are shocked and disappointed Thokozani Magwaza has been strong armed into quitting his job as the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) chief executive.

The termination of his contract comes amid death threats following the cancellation of controversial work streams which were appointed to help Sassa take over the payment of grants.

He clashed with the minister on a few occasions most notably over her handling of the grants scandal.

Chairperson of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts Themba Godi who only on Monday morning said he hoped the situation would not lead to Magwaza quitting, says he is shocked by the turn of events.

Godi says the axing of Magwaza could not have come at a worse time for the agency.

He has been working on a plan for the Post Office to assist in the payment of social grants.

“So instead of the minister supporting him from the threats he got, it appears she actually pushed him out.”

The Democratic Alliance's Bridget Masango says she had hoped Magwaza's relationship with Minister Bathabile Dlamini would improve.

“We really believe he should not have been made to leave now while he's busy implementing the orders of the court and he’s at the forefront of doing that.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party's Liezl van der Merwe says she doesn't believe there's someone immediately suitable to take over the job Magwaza has been doing.

At the same time, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) is the latest group to raise concern around Magwaza’s sudden departure.

Outa says once again, a hard-working ethical person has been removed from a state entity.

It’s also condemned the death threats made against Magwaza and is calling for an investigation.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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