DA wants protector probe into Dlamini’s alleged ties to businessman

2017-04-09 21:10
Bathabile Dlamini (File, Rapport)

Bathabile Dlamini (File, Rapport)

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Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance on Sunday said it has requested a public protector probe into allegations on an improper relationship between Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and businessman Lunga Ncwana.

“The Minister’s connection to Ncwana is of grave concern, considering that Ncwana is a close friend of Brian Mosehla, who allegedly pocketed R83 million as CPS’s BEE partner, due to corrupt dealings,” said DA MP Bridget Masango in a statement.

The Sunday Times reported that Ncwana was allegedly involved in interference and intimidation in connection with Cash Paymaster Services which had a contract to pay social grants.

According to the weekly newspaper Dlamini allegedly sent a text message in March to social development DG Zane Dangor – who recently resigned – in which she suggested, "You and Sipho [Shezi - adviser to the minister] have been used by [Sassa CEO Thokozani] Magwaza who is a friend to my former boyfriend who wanted to extort money from Lunga and could not."

The Sunday Times alleged that the ex-boyfriend mentioned was a former intelligence official, known as Cessaro, who was apparently sidelined by Ncwana and others, during an abortive attempt to create a BEE vehicle which would partner with CPS in the distribution of social grants.

Cessaro denied having anything to do with the minister or CPS when contacted by the newspaper. Dlamini’s spokesperson Lumka Oliphant demanded hard proof of the allegations and Ncwana did not respond to attempts to contact him.

Last month, the Constitutional Court declared that the invalidity of the previous contract between the SA Social Security Agency and CPS would be suspended for 12 months after it emerged that the department would be unable to handle the logistics of insourcing the payment of social grants themselves for April.

Previously, in 2014 the Constitutional Court ruled that the contract the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) signed with CPS in 2012 was illegal and invalid. 

In an affidavit as to why she should not be held personally responsible for the situation, Dlamini suggested that she had not willfully intended to undermine the realisation of the guaranteed constitutional rights of social grant beneficiaries.

This month, the government reported that 2.6 million South Africans had received their social grants through ATMs and merchants.

Read more on:    sassa  |  da  |  bathabile dlamini  |  johannesburg  |  public protector

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