R316m court-ordered payment to Sassa to play out in court

Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) is appealing against a 2018 high court ruling that it repays R316m to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).
Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) is appealing against a 2018 high court ruling that it repays R316m to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).
Image: Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius

The Supreme Court of Appeal will on Tuesday hear an appeal by Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) against a ruling by the high court in Johannesburg last year that it repays R316m to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

Corruption Watch took both CPS and Sassa to court in March 2015 in light of the payment, made separately from the contract payments to the social grants distributor.

Corruption Watch argued that both Sassa and CPS had said the payment was for purposes of the re-registration of beneficiaries of social grants, but this process was already catered for in the original contract between the two parties. It therefore did not make sense for the extra R316m payment to be made to CPS, Corruption Watch argued.

Although both CPS and Sassa had initially opposed Corruption Watch's application, Sassa withdrew its opposition in 2017 and said it would abide by the court's decision.

In March last year, the high court set aside Sassa's payment of the R316m to CPS.

The court ordered CPS to pay back the full amount, with interest, to the state. The interest would have to be backdated to the time of the transaction, in May 2014.

The high court refused CPS's application for leave to appeal its ruling. This prompted CPS to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal, which will hear the matter on Tuesday.

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