Sassa, former CEO ordered to pay legal costs of bid to extend CPS contract

The pair have been ordered to pay in their official capacity, which means that taxpayers will have to incur the costs.

FILE: Former Sassa chief executive Pearl Bhengu. Picture: @OfficialSASSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court has ordered Sassa and its CEO to pay the costs of an urgent application to extend the agency's contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

In March, the court extended the invalid contract with CPS for six months.

Sassa argued that the South African Post Office (Sapo) did not have the capacity to fully administer the payment of social grants to millions of beneficiaries.

The court has criticised Sassa for failing to comply with its orders.

The Constitutional Court has ordered Sassa and former acting CEO Pearl Bhengu to foot the bill of another grant payment extension with CPS.

The pair has been ordered to pay in their official capacity, which means that taxpayers will have to incur the costs.

The court has accused Sassa of forcing its hand to extend the application as it’s suspension would have severely impacted millions of beneficiaries.

It says that the urgency of the application was self-created and the explanation given for the delay was not satisfactory.

Although the judgment found that former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini should not be held liable for the payment, it found that she did not apply an effective supervisory role.