ConCourt gives Sassa 5 days to explain grants debacle

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng issued directions asking if an agreement has been signed with CPS and asked for a copy of that document.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng defends a speech he gave in Stellenbosch last week about religion and the law during a news conference in Johannesburg on 4 June 2014. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has given the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) until Monday to explain in court documents why the Constitutional Court was kept in the dark about its inability to pay social grants, who decided not to tell judges, and when Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini was told of the problems.

He's issued directions on behalf of the court also asking if an agreement has been signed with Cash Paymaster Service (CPS), and asking for a copy of that document.

The directions are part of the court applications filed around the issue, as the agency will ask judges to be allowed to continue to use CPS to pay out social grants after they ruled its current contract is illegal.

The chief justice has asked Sassa for the full details around who decided they would not be able to pay out social grants themselves, when they decided this, and when Minister Dlamini was told.

Judges also want to know who then decided not to tell the court, which had ordered that judges receive regular updates on the progress being made by the agency.

Mogoeng says they want to know if the agency believes its new agreement with CPS is legal, and if so, why.

Then there are questions around when a competitive bidding process to take over that contract will be run again - and a request for details of the steps that could be taken by Sassa to pay out grants itself.

If Sassa complies with all of these demands from the court, it could result in the final agreement with cps becoming public knowledge.

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