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ConCourt to decide whether Dlamini acted in bad faith in Sassa debacle

The court has been handed a scathing account of the testimony she gave before an inquiry it had appointed.

A screengrab of Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini answering questions on her role in the social grant payments debacle.

CAPE TOWN - The Constitutional Court will have to decide whether former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini acted in bad faith in the handling of the grant payment saga.

The court has been handed a scathing account of the testimony she gave before an inquiry it had appointed.

Judge Bernard Ngoepe says that Dlamini's answers to vital questions were less than satisfactory.

He believes that she was an evasive witness.

Ngoepe was ordered by the Constitutional Court to determine if Dlamini gave the instruction to appoint so-called workstreams and the role they played.

But he says that she unjustifiably told the inquiry that she didn't know or could not remember the answers to important questions.

Alternatively, she just point blank avoided answering questions, or gave long responses that didn't provide answers.

Ngoepe says that the evidence before the inquiry confirmed that Dlamini appointed the workstreams to report directly to her.

The judge found former Sassa chief executive Thokozani Magwaza to have been an overcharged witness, who had been yearning to air his complaints about Dlamini and the workstreams.

Ngoepe says the testimony of the Social Development Department's former Director-General Zane Dangor was consistent with the reasons for his resignation, and his concerns over the reporting lines of the workstreams.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)