Former Director General of the Social Development department Zane Dangor. Picture: SAIIA
Former Director General of the Social Development department Zane Dangor. Picture: SAIIA

Former social development director-general Zane Dangor fears that decisions taken by South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Thokozani Magwaza before he accepted an exit package, may now be reversed.

Dangor, who resigned from his post earlier this year prior to a crisis in the payout of 17-million grants, said on Monday evening that he was not surprised to hear Magwaza had accepted an exit package, as the relationship between him and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini had been rocky for a while.

Dangor and Magwaza had submitted affidavits to the Constitutional Court accusing Dlamini of lying about her involvement in the Sassa fiasco and the appointment of the controversial work streams. This was after Dlamini laid the blame at Magwaza’s feet.

The court has since added Dlamini to the matter brought by advocacy group the Black Sash, in her personal capacity.

An inquiry will now be held into her role before a final decision is made on whether she should be held personally responsible and pay the cost of the court matter out of her own pocket.

Dlamini and a few handpicked advisers had emerged as the clique that constructed the illegal new contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS). Department officials and Sassa were excluded from the process.

Magwaza recently terminated the contracts of the work streams after National Treasury informed him they had been illegally appointed.

Sassa has been in talks with the South African Post Office (Sapo) about Sapo assisting the agency from 2018 with social grant payments, when the CPS contract comes to an end.

Dangor said he feared that these decisions "could be rolled back".

He said it would be "stupid" to offer the work streams contracts again, because of Treasury’s finding that they were appointed illegally.

However, Dangor said, he had heard from Sassa employees that there was some speculation that the work streams would be sneaked back in.

The department announced on Monday that Magwaza’s contract with Sassa had been terminated.

In a statement, the department said Dlamini and Magwaza had agreed to the termination "after a consultative process led by the head of legal services, advocate Nkosinathi Dladla, in terms of the provisions of his contract of employment".

Dangor said he hoped Magwaza would stay until the end of March 2018 to oversee the process of a new service provider taking over the payment of the social grants, and see through the conditions set out in the Constitutional Court ruling on the matter.

Dangor said he, Magwaza and former adviser to Dlamini Sipho Shezi were the three most senior public servants in the department.

Shezi was also fired by Dlamini earlier this year.

"I resigned, Sipho got fired and Magwaza got paid out," Dangor said.

"When you remove the three most senor civil servants, and you are working in a manner that is contrary to how decisions should be made in the public service, one has to ask questions."

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