Former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini acted unreasonably and negligently time and again during the social grants fiasco, according to the Black Sash. This led to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) repeatedly approaching the Constitutional Court at the last minute for exemptions. The Black Sash has filed an answering affidavit to the apex court, detailing why it believes that Dlamini and former acting Sassa CEO Pearl Bhengu should pay the costs of the matter from their own pockets. Dlamini is fighting two court findings: one made in 2018 and the other delivered in 2017, both of which raised the issue of whether she should pay costs. The revelation that Sassa would not be able to take over grants once the contract of Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) expired in April 2017 caused panic about whether the millions of beneficiaries would get their money.

Under Dlamini’s stewardship, Sassa approached the Constitutional Court twice in a year to request that th...

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