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DA says Bathabile Dlamini still has case to answer for, despite PP exoneration

The DA referred the Sassa matter to the Public Protector after Dlamini stated that Sassa would be ready to institutionalise the distribution of social grants by 1 April 2017.

FILE: Former cabinet minister Bathabile Dlamini chats to EWN a day after she resigned as a member of Parliament. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday said it would not let former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini off the hook just because the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found her not guilty of violating the executive code of ethics regarding the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) debacle.

Mkhwebane found Dlamini couldn’t have known that the department would fail to distribute grants when she told Parliament in 2016 that it would. The failure to meet a deadline to secure a new service provider to distribute social grants caused widespread concern that recipients would not receive their money.

The DA referred the Sassa matter to the Public Protector after Dlamini stated that Sassa would be ready to institutionalise the distribution of social grants by 1 April 2017.

However, less than a year later, Sassa officials informed Parliament’s social development committee that the agency had failed to procure an alternative service provider.

Mkhwebane said based on her investigation, she could not say Dlamini misled the Parliament.

“I could not make any finding on the allegation that the former minister deliberately misled the National Assembly or contravened the executive ethics code,” she said.

But DA MP and spokesperson on social development Bridgette Masango said despite the outcome of this report, the DA still held the view that Dlamini should be held to account for putting the livelihood of millions of South Africans at risk and taking the country to the brink of a complete crisis.

“Dlamini failed dismally in her role as the head of social development as well as the women of South Africa and she must have her day in court. We will be studying the contents of the report and consult with our lawyers on the merits thereof,” Masango said.

WATCH: Bathabile Dlamini says Sassa criticism felt like rape

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