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Corruption Watch hopes CPS, Sassa ruling sends a strong message to the 'corrupt'

The court ordered CPS to pay R316 million back to Sassa after the money was wrongfully paid to the company in 2014.

A Sassa office. @OfficialSASSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Corruption Watch on Monday said it hoped the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment against Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) would send a strong message to those who enter into irregular and corrupt procurement agreements with the state.

The court ordered CPS to pay R316 million back to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) after the money was wrongfully paid to the company in 2014. CPS was also instructed by the court to pay Corruption Watch’s legal costs.

In noting Sassa’s mandate of delivering social grants in a manner that respected the dignity of its recipients, the SCA said this should be done in a fiscally responsible manner. The court said systems should also be put in place to avoid the fraudulent duplication of payments.

The corruption watchdog said the SCA judgment affirmed the important role that civil society organisations play in ensuring integrity and accountability in government procurement processes.

"This is a very important judgment. Let it be noted by those who enter into agreements with the state that are either corrupt or do not follow the rules governing public procurement that they will be required to pay back money received in this way. This judgment affirms the important watchdog role that civil society organisations like Corruption Watch play in ensuring integrity and accountability in the procurement process," said David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch.

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