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Dlamini defends herself during Sassa inquiry

Minister Bathabile Dlamini is appearing before an inquiry at the offices of the Chief Justice in Midrand.

FILE: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is defending her role in the social grants debacle.

Dlamini is appearing before an inquiry headed by retired Judge Bernard Ngoepe at the offices of the Chief Justice in Midrand.

Right group the Black Sash Trust approached the court in March last year after Sassa acknowledged it would not be able to pay millions of rand in grants.

Dlamini has asked to give evidence at the inquiry in isiZulu.

At the heart of the proceeding is Dlamini’s appointment of individuals to lead workstreams, who reported directly to her.

Speaking through an interpreter, Dlamini says she established this process within her department in order to rope in experts who could intervene in the crisis around the payment of social grants.

“The whole idea behind workstreams was to ensure that sufficient skills and knowledge were present in order to advise on how the whole task had to be done.”

Black Sash wants Dlamini to be held personally liable for the Sassa crisis and its legal costs.

LISTEN: The anatomy of the Sassa debacle

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)