Perjury charges against Bathabile Dlamini are still under consideration, NPA says
Dlamini had denied responsibility for the Sassa debacle and, in doing so, was thought to have lied to the Constitutional Court
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is still considering whether minister of women in the presidency Bathabile Dlamini should face perjury charges.
Dlamini was found to have possibly lied under oath when dealing with the Social Security Agency of SA (Sassa) fiasco in 2017 when she was social development minister.
She had denied responsibility for the affair and, in doing so, was thought to have lied to the highest court in the land. In September, the Constitutional Court ordered Dlamini to pay out of her own pocket 20% of the legal costs of the Black Sash Trust and Freedom Under Law in relation to the 2017 Sassa debacle.
It also directed that the national director of public prosecutions make a call on whether Dlamini should be prosecuted and charged for perjury for lying under oath.
The NPA said the matter was forwarded to the office of the director of public prosecutions (DPP) in the Gauteng, by head office.
It was then referred to the office of Gauteng Hawks head Maj-Gen Prince Mokotedi for investigation, NPA provincial spokesperson Phindi Louw said.
‘‘Two advocates from the office of the DPP are guiding the investigations and matter is still under consideration,’’ she said.
In the meantime the DA has lodged an application in the high court in Pretoria to have the reappointment of Malusi Gigaba and Dlamini as cabinet ministers declared irrational, unconstitutional and unlawful.
Gigaba resigned as home affairs minister on Tuesday. Both were retained but moved to other portfolios in February when Ramaphosa reshuffled the cabinet he inherited from former president Jacob Zuma.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane previously gave Ramaphosa until Wednesday to take action against Gigaba, whose portfolio will now be temporarily taken over by transport minister Blade Nzimande.
Gigaba was found by the courts to have lied under oath in the Fireblade Aviation matter, a dispute with the Oppenheimer family over whether he had given permission for the opening of a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
Business Day understands a cabinet reshuffle is on the cards after Gigaba’s resignation. More changes to the executive are expected, although Ramaphosa has not decided on the timing, with elections, likely to be followed by a wholesale reshuffle, due in about six months.
Other factors under consideration are understood to be the court processes around Dlamini.
Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene resigned in October after he admitted at the Zondo commission into state capture that he had failed to declare meetings with the Gupta family, associates of Zuma who have been accused of using connections to the former president to channel government resources to their various business interests.
Nene was replaced by former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni.