Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini on Monday denied allegations that she interfered at the South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) in order to ensure that Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) continued to dispense social grants.
“Did you intend for CPS to have an extended life longer than that set out by the Constitutional Court? Did you harbour any ways to frustrate Sassa work to pay grants itself come April 2017?” asked her counsel Ishmael Semenya.
Dlamini replied with a “no”.
“If I did, I would be happy if anyone could point out that to me,” said Dlamini.
The inquiry into Dlamini’s role in the social grants debacle is being chaired by retired judge Barnard Ngoepe in Johannesburg.
The grants crisis saw rights group Black Sash taking the department to the Constitutional Court to ensure that over 17 million beneficiaries continued to receive grants, after the court ruled in 2014 that the Cash Paymaster Service (CPS) contract to dispense grants was invalid.
In March 2017, the Constitutional Court ordered that CPS continue to pay grants for a further twelve months, after it was found that Sassa was unable to take over.