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Sassa, dept given 2 weeks to probe, report back on Dlamini's role in crisis

Sassa and the Social Development Department now have two weeks to further investigate Dlamini's role in the crisis - and report back to the court.

FILE: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court says the question about whether social development Minister Bathabile Dlamini acted in bad faith during the Sassa grants saga cannot be ignored.

The court was due to rule on Thursday on whether Dlamini is personally liable for costs incurred as a result of the problems but has instead referred the matter back to the parties involved.

Sassa and the Social Development Department now have two weeks to further investigate Dlamini's role in the crisis and report back to the court.

Justice Johan Froneman says the court cannot make an order adverse to Dlamini based on allegations that are untested.

Dlamini has blamed Sassa officials and her own department for the social grants crisis but Froneman says Sassa’s CEO Thokozani Magwaza and former DG Zane Dangor disagree with the minister.

“The thrust of the CEO and the DG’s affidavits is that the minister established parallel decision making and communication processes that bypassed Sassa and department officials. The minister said little if anything, of this in her own affidavit.”

The parties now have two weeks to discuss the matter and come to an agreement about Dlamini’s role and responsibility and whether she should pay out of her own pocket for the legal costs.

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)

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