Bathabile Dlamini’s lawyers accuse State of being disingenuous in perjury case

Dlamini was the social development minister when problems arose with the distribution of social grants in 2017.

Bathabile Dlamini appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on 24 November 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The lawyer representing former Minister Bathabile Dlamini has accused the State of being disingenuous by withholding details of her trial including the number of witnesses scheduled.

Dlamini was the social development minister when problems arose with the distribution of social grants in 2017.

A subsequent Constitutional Court inquiry into the crisis found that she had lied and was evasive during her testimony.

Dlamini appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning and the matter was postponed to Thursday.

The first witness was expected to take the stand on Wednesday in Dlamini’s perjury case, but this will only happen on Thursday.

The testimony was not heard because the State had not consulted its witnesses.

Advocate Joseph Serepo said: “I did make a call to her, which was not picked up. I then sent two messages to her but there was no response to both messages.”

But Dlamini’s lawyer Tshepiso Phahlale said these reasons were not good enough.

Magistrate Betty Khumalo questioned the State about its failure to properly brief Phahlane and his team on the number of witnesses and the proposed postponement.

Serepo acknowledged this and apologised.

WATCH: Bathabile Dlamini pleads not guilty to perjury