Despite issues, NPA to proceed with perjury trial against Bathabile Dlamini

The matter could not proceed on Thursday after the State indicated that it was having issues getting hold of its State witnesses, who reside outside the province.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that it would still proceed with the perjury trial against former minister Bathabile Dlamini, with or without witnesses.

Dlamini appeared in the Randburg Magistrates Court on Thursday, where the matter was postponed to Friday due to problems with State witnesses.

The case relates to Dlamini’s testimony during an inquiry into her role in the 2017 social grants crisis.

Despite the State requesting that the matter stand down until some time next year, Magistrate Betty Khumalo ruled that it must continue on Friday.

The matter could not proceed on Thursday after the State indicated that it was having issues getting hold of its State witnesses, who reside outside the province.

While it’s not yet clear whether the State’s second witness will testify on Friday, the NPA’s Phindi Mjonondwane said that they would still continue with the trial against Dlamini.

"We are ready to proceed in terms of the evidence that is already presented before court because remember our case is mainly reliant on the record of proceedings of the inquiry," Mjonondwane said.

Earlier this week, Dlamini pleaded not guilty to the perjury charges against her.