Bathabile Dlamini hasn’t had an easy ride in 2019, as the skeletons which tumbled out of her closet ended up costing her a position in the ANC cabinet. But, following a review from Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, it was determined that the controversial politician didn’t lie to Parliament over the SASSA grants scandal.
Bathabile Dlamini gets a favourable result from Public Protector
Dlamini is infamous for the way she ran the Social Development Department: SASSA was essentially run into the ground, and she faced countless allegations of looting from the state. The DA brought multiple criminal charges against her, but it seems this one from 2016 has been dismissed – or, at least, the previous judgement handed down by ConCourt was upheld.
The Public Protector has cleared Bathabile Dlamini, former social development minister, of deliberately misleading Parliament when she delivered her 2016 budget vote speech in Parliament.
— Franny Rabkin (@franstaar) October 2, 2019
Bathabile Dlamini and the SASSA / CPS scandal
According to the civil rights group Black Sash, Dlamini, in her personal executive capacity acted “unreasonably and negligently” during the contentious contractual fiasco involving Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), the organisation tasked with administering social grants to beneficiaries.
Due to Dlamini’s apparent negligence, which jeopardised the entire grants payment system, the court was forced to extend CPS’s contract for a further six months back earlier this year. Dlamini was forced to answer for this oversight with her legal bill being footed by the taxpayer. The ex-minister was made to cover 20% of Sassa’s legal costs.
Dlamini, on the other hand, argued that during her tenure she had “at all times acted in good faith in relation to grant beneficiaries”. As such, Dlamini maintains that she should not have been held liable for legal costs associated with the scandal. She was soon reshuffled to become the Minister for Women, then went on to resign from Parliament in June 2019
Wow, #PublicProtector says Bathabile Dlamini didn’t mislead parliament. Surprise, surprise ?
— ? (@LethaboCM) October 2, 2019
Public Protector comes to a conclusion
DA MP Bridget Masango was the first to lodge a complaint against Bathabile Dlamini, but claims that she had lied to Parliament ultimately fell short on Wednesday.
This comes after a backlog of cases had piled up during Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s tenure as Public Protector – her office is “disposing” of these cases, which are more than two years old. She added that her office is only left with 52 issues to review – nine of which are in the investigation stage and the rest are in the writing stage.