Social grants inquiry postponed to Friday

JOHANNESBURG – Retired Judge Bernard Ngoepeon Friday postponed the inquiry into South Africa’s social grants after indicating that he was not feeling well.

“I am not feeling well and can’t go beyond this point, I am sorry. I really tried keeping myself together but am not well,” the judge said.

Ngoepe has in the morning said he was not well but continued to chair the Constitutional Court-mandated inquiry.

Former SA Social Security (Sassa) CEO Thokozani Magwaza was testifying this Friday  after Minister of Social Development Bathabkile Dlamini wrapped up her testimony on Thursday. Magwaza told the inquiry about the work streams and how they created an impossible working environment at Sassa. These work streams were advisory groups that were appointed by Dlamini in 2015 to assist Sassa migrate to paying out social grants by March 2017 deadline. This is after the Constitutional Court ruling.

These work streams reported to Dlamini directly and cost taxpayers a reported R47 million.  Magwaza was sidelined by Dlamini and Zodwa Mvulane who was responsible for the grants payment transition.

The work streams were contracts, however, terminated last year after the Treasury told the department that the appointments were illegal as Sassa did not seek deviation from tender I time from Treasury as required.

Dlamini blamed Magwaza for the grants crisis, in her testimony, saying problems at Sassa started after his appointment as CEO in November 2016.

 PHOTO CREDITS – Mail & Guardian

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