Former social grants distributor CPS loses ConCourt bid to appeal repaying R316m to Sassa

13 February 2020 - 13:07
By Isaac Mahlangu
The case was dismissed on Thursday
The case was dismissed on Thursday

The Constitutional Court has dismissed with costs Cash Paymaster Services' (CPS) application for leave to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeals judgment that it repays the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) R316m.

The matter was first brought to the North Gauteng High Court by Corruption Watch in 2015 as it sought the court review and set aside the "exorbitant payments" from Sassa to the then social grants' distributor that went beyond the scope of the contractual arrangement.

A ruling, which favoured Corruption Watch, was handed down in March 2018, however, CPS appealed and in September 2019, the Supreme Court delivered its ruling which upheld the high court judgment.

"The Constitutional Court… has concluded that the application for condonation should be granted, but that the application for leave to appeal should be dismissed as it does not engage the court's jurisdiction and, in any event, bears no reasonable prospects of success," a ConCourt judgment dated February 5, stated.

Corruption Watch has welcomed the judgment as victory and a "final decision" on the matter.

David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, stated in a statement: “While we are obviously delighted at the decision of the Constitutional Court and now expect Sassa to immediately secure the approximately R500m rand owed to it by CPS, the full story of the CPS/Sassa saga will not be told until the law enforcement authorities investigate the relationship between, on the one hand, key individuals in Sassa and the ministry of social development, and, on the other hand, senior management of CPS. These illegal payments were not made in error.”

Lewis added: “We call on the Hawks to re-open an investigation into the past relationship between CPS, the ministry and Sassa, and to bring to justice those individuals who profited from the illegal payments.”