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'Does Dlamini understand the importance of her role?'

Minister Bathabile Dlamini maintains she is not to blame and that she was told late that her department would not meet the April 2017 Sassa deadline.

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

MIDRAND - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s evidence about her knowledge of South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants crisis has been called to question.

Dlamini has been testifying for a third day at the inquiry into her role in the social grants debacle that dominated headlines last year.

The minister maintains she is not to blame and that she was told late that her department would not meet the April 2017 Sassa deadline.

Dlamini’s responsibilities as the head of the Social Development Department have come into sharp focus during Wednesday’s proceedings.

Freedom Under Law’s Advocate Seena Yacoob questioned her on whether she understands the importance of her role.

“As you told us that with seniority goes responsibilities and so you are extremely aware of the weight of responsibility that lies on you?”

Dlamini responded: “Yes, I am aware.”

She has also been grilled about why it took months for officials to notify her that the 2017 grants payment agreement deadline would not be met, despite the minister claiming she had regular meetings with her staff.