DA hopes court judgment will put end to graft at Sassa

The DA has welcomed the Pretoria High Court judgment on Friday ordering former minister Bathabile Dlamini and her co-accused to pay back R3.5-million spent on private security.

During her tenure as social development minister, Dlamini and her then spokesperson Lumka Oliphant are said to have abused the state coffers for private security, claiming their lives were in danger.

Also implicated in the case was Dr Virginia Petersen, who approved the contract in her capacity as CEO of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa), an government entity Dlamini was accountable for.

In a statement on Monday, the DA said it hopes the court judgement will put an end to corruption and misconduct at Sassa.

“It is shocking that this matter would have been swept under the carpet had it not been for the DA’s pressure and questions regarding the matter,” said the opposition in a statement.

“This judgment is a victory for the enforcement of accountability and the fight against the type of impunity that typified the state capture of the [former president Jacob] Zuma years.

“This includes the grant crisis which saw Dlamini lie under oath that left millions of grant recipients out in the cold.

“Hopefully, this judgment will put an end to Sassa’s long history of prioritising top management over grant beneficiaries.”

In April 2022, Dlamini was sentenced to four years in prison or a fine of R200 000, half of which were suspended.

This after the Johannesburg magistrate’s court found her guilty of perjury in March 2022.

Dlamini was released on warning and was expected to pay the total fine by the end of April of that year.


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