Why punish Dlamini before she has failed? - Zuma

2017-03-16 16:10
President Jacob Zuma during SONA 2017.

President Jacob Zuma during SONA 2017.

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma says South Africa's is a "funny democracy", citing calls for Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to be fired before "anything has happened".

"This is another kind of democracy that if you expect someone is going to make a mistake or is going to fail, that person must be punished before it happens. It's a funny democracy," he said during a question-and-answer session in Parliament.

"I thought the date we are talking about has not arrived? The 1st of April," he said.

Also read: SA still a good news story, insists Zuma

Zuma was answering a question from DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who asked what Zuma planned to do to keep his appointed officials accountable to the rule of law.

Maimane followed up by asking if Zuma believed Dlamini should be removed from her position, given the current crisis around social grants.

"Why punish someone before anything happens?" Zuma said.

"Stick to democracy and the rule of law. That's not the rule of law. It's almost like the law of the jungle. No sir, I disagree, honourable Maimane.

"There's no crisis."

Zuma further explained that he did not say there was no problem, only that the April 1 date had not arrived yet.

'Specific hitches'

Zuma said his Cabinet ministers constantly updated him on their work.

He said there were "specific hitches" in Dlamini's ability to implement the Constitutional Court's ruling for the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to take over the social grants scheme from Cash Paymaster Services.

"It has not happened. You then condemn and call it a crisis, and the matter has not happened," Zuma said again.

"You don't evaluate something before it happens. So why should I?"

He said a previous tender for the project had failed, and Sassa had to start the process again.

"It was not like they were sitting doing nothing all the time."

Zuma said his Cabinet was dealing with the matter, and stressed again that the date had not arrived, to applause from the ANC benches.

He assured everyone that social grants would be paid on April 1.

"Only after the 1st you can say: 'Take action against this minister, she has failed'. I'm very clear," he finished.

Read more on:    sassa  |  bathabile dlamini  |  jacob zuma  |  parliament  |  social grants

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