Bathabile Dlamini’s disqualification appeal dismissed

The ANC electoral committee has dismissed former ANC Women’s League president and erstwhile minister of social development Bathabile Dlamini’s appeal application seeking to vindicate her after she was disqualified from contesting for positions at the ANC’s 55th national conference starting in Nasrec, near Soweto on Friday.

Dlamini was disqualified last week after she failed the vetting process after the electoral committee said at the time members previously convicted and sentences longer than six months cannot contest for leadership positions in the national executive committee (NEC), when the elective conference get underway.

Dlamini was found guilty and convicted of perjury after she lied under oath about her role in the 2018 South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grant payment debacle, when she was minister of social development. She was fined R200 000 and given a two-year suspended sentence.

In her application, Dlamini wanted the committee to reconsider its decision, however, the chairperson of the ANC electoral committee Kgalema Motlanthe, upheld the disqualification.

Said Motlanthe in a letter dated December 14: “The Electoral Committee has duly considered both the substantive and procedural aspects your appeal. From the onset, we wish to emphasise that the Electoral Committee (EC) was established by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC to propose rules governing the election of leaders within the ANC…

“It is very important that all ANC comrades should make a clear and unambiguous distinction between rules for disciplinary processes and rules for election of leaders within the ANC so that we do not unnecessarily conflate two important but separate processes within the ANC.

“Accordingly, the Electoral Committee upholds its disqualification of your candidacy for the NEC position.”

Dlamini’s conviction early this year by the Johannesburg Magistrates Court came after the decision of the Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions to try her following her false testimony under oath to an inquiry established by the Constitutional Court stemming from the social grants crisis in 2017.

It was the first conviction of a former cabinet minister for unlawful and criminal conduct committed in the course of duties as a minister.

Dlamini was called to testify before the inquiry in terms of section 38 of the Superior Courts Acts, held to determine several disputes about the administration of social grants by the Sassa, which falls under the social development department. In the inquiry, Dlamini testified on the role she played as political head during the grants saga, which involved the conclusion of an invalid contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), for the rollout of social grants.

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