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Perjury case against Bathabile Dlamini postponed to October

Former social development minister and ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini made her first court appearance at the Johannesburg magistrate’s court on Tuesday.

Dlamini faces a charge of perjury after allegedly giving false evidence during her testimony under oath at an inquiry instituted by the Constitutional Court in 2018 into the Social Security Agency of SA (Sassa) fiasco.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhanga said the case was postponed to October 1 to allow for docket disclosure by the defence.

The matter dates back to a tender to pay out social grants awarded to Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) that expired but was renewed repeatedly. Dlamini was accused of failing to make sure Sassa was capacitated to pay out social grants after the contract with CPS expired.

The court was forced to extend the contract even though it had been found to be illegal.

In an unanimous judgment‚ the ConCourt found her personally liable for 20% of the costs of the Black Sash and Freedom Under Law‚ including the costs of two counsel.

Dlamini settled the R655‚000 costs in May.

The 2018 ruling was a first of its kind in which a public official was expected to pay for legal costs from their own pockets and not state coffers.

At the time of the crisis‚ judge Bernard Ngoepe found Dlamini’s conduct to have been “reckless and grossly negligent” and ordered her to pay a portion of the costs of litigation.

Ngoepe later filed a report on the inquiry with the ConCourt which found Dlamini had not only failed in her duties but had also failed to disclose information to the court for fear of being held liable for the crisis in her personal capacity.

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Source: ARENA Holdings.