Minister Bathabile Dlamini accused of lying under oath

Minister of Women Bathabile Dlamini.
Minister of Women Bathabile Dlamini.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Former Social Development minister Bathabile Dlamini has been accused of lying under oath when addressing an inquiry into her role in the social grants crisis.

This is according to Geoff Budlender SC, the legal representative of advocacy group Black Sash Trust.

The Constitutional Court last year ordered an inquiry to establish if Dlamini could be held personally liable for the litigation costs of the South African Social Security Agency's (Sassa) social grant crisis.

Budlender described Dlamini as "evasive" and "an embarrassing" witness who told untruths, refused to answer some questions when delivering evidence at the inquiry presided by retired judge Bernard Ngoepe at the offices of the Chief-Justice in Midrand.

"She was repeatedly obstructive, evasive and answered wrong questions," Budlender said when delivering his closing arguments.

He also accused Dlamini of "never having an intention" to meet the deadline set by the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court had found the contract Sassa had for the payments of social grants with Cash Paymaster Services to be invalid in 2014, and allowed the invalid contract to continue till last year March.

Black Sash Trust approached the highest court in the land last year when Sassa acknowledged it wasn't ready to take over the payments of grants to over 10-milllion beneficiaries as per the court's ruling.

Dlamini has been accused by former top officials in the department of having interfered in Sassa's plans by appointing work streams that undetermined work done at Sassa.

The inquiry is hearing final arguments from legal representatives before Ngoepe delivers his ruling.

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