AS IT HAPPENED: ‘Why didn’t Sassa act on legal advice?’ - Mogoeng

2017-03-15 17:00

CPS says it wants more for the Sassa contract but is unable to reveal how much it has been making in the previous contract. Judgment is reserved in the matter.

 - Follow News24 reporters Mpho Raborife (@MsRaborife) and Jeanette Chabalala (@J_chabalala) on Twitter for the latest updates from ConCourt.

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Last Updated at 17:05
15 Mar 17:12

A frustrated chief justice asked on Wednesday how Sassa and Minister Bathabile Dlamini came to make themselves look incompetent in the social grants payment debacle.

"How do you get to the level where your clients make themselves look like they are incompetent and you can't even explain how you got to this point?" a frustrated Mogoeng Mogoeng asked Andrew Breitenbach, for Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa), in the Constitutional Court.

Mogoeng repeatedly pressed Breitenbach for answers about why Dlamini did nothing when she learnt that Sassa would not be able to pay grants on its own.

Ensuring grants got paid was one of Dlamini's core responsibilities. She should have demanded progress reports from Sassa, he insisted.

15 Mar 16:51
Judgment is reserved and court will adjourned.

15 Mar 16:44
Unterhalter: asks court to ask CPS of not only their expected revenues will be on the new agreement, but their past revenues as well.

15 Mar 16:44

Mogoeng: says Unterhalter is raising something that he had missed. That companies factor in rising costs in their projections.

Unterhalter says for CPS the aim is to make sure that by the end of the life of the contract, the company is at a profitable position.

15 Mar 16:40
'The no benefit rule is the right rule," says Unterhalter on CPS's attempt to have their price adjustment requests met.

15 Mar 16:39

15 Mar 16:39
Unterhalter: says CPS's submission that an order be granted that it continue its new agreement with Sassa would give it financial adv

15 Mar 16:37
Budlender is done - Unterhalter is next with a few more submissions.

15 Mar 16:36
Budlender: Why is it necessary to shift from charging #SASSA per beneficiary to charging a lump sum? This will be a short-term contract.

15 Mar 16:36
Budlender says it is misleading to claim that they were ina 5 year contract w/o increases when they new price would rise yearly.

15 Mar 16:35
Contract, if extended, should be on existing rates says Budlender.

15 Mar 16:33

Budlender: #SASSA has failed in its duty Mogoeng CJ: It entered into an unlawful contract in the first place.

Budlender: Minister & #Sassa frustrated portfolio committee. Acted in breach of Constitution. Serious matter. It calls for comment by court.

Budlender: No reason to trust #Sassa… CEO has lost confidence of minister… Minister is not someone who keeps her finger on the pulse.

15 Mar 16:31

Outside court Net1 CEO Serge Belamant told reporters they wanted to exit their deal with dignity.

He said despite what SAPO said in court earlier today, they could not deliver even 50% of the services that CPS does countrywide.

15 Mar 16:30

15 Mar 16:28
Budlender: Minister "grievously misled" the parliamentary portfolio committee.

15 Mar 16:28
Budlender argues that Dlamini breached her constitutional obligation.

15 Mar 16:26

#SASSA Budlender arguing the judges can either extend the invalid contract, or order parties to continue constitutional obligation. MV

15 Mar 16:23

Budlender talking about the options available to the court again. The extension of a contract and suspension.

Says despite what Cockrell said, AllPay knows all about the matter and has no interest in it.

15 Mar 16:20

Tsatsawane wrapped up his submissions.

Budlender says CPS's obligation going forward is a Constitutional obligation, not a contractual one.

15 Mar 16:17

Cockrell is done.

Kennedy Tsatsawane is now addressing the court on behalf of the Information Regulator.

15 Mar 16:13
Cockrell says he is not sure if he can be any helpful more than that, says contract should be on terms agreed upon by parties.

15 Mar 16:12

Cockrell: We intended to make the interim contract with #SASSA available to the Court. I'm not sure I can be anymore helpful than that.

15 Mar 16:11

Cockrell and the bench going back and forth about the number CPS wants for its services come April 1. Cockrell not giving in.

Mogoeng: We need help from you, I'm not sure you're doing enough to help us understand the difficulties.

15 Mar 16:10

Cockrell agrees that the amount it charge in new contract is the same as before but adjusted by inflation.

CJ Mogoeng says Cockrell not doing enough to make them understand their difficulties

15 Mar 16:08
Cockrell is asked how justices can agree on a price but they don't know how much it is. "You are asking for a blank cheque".

15 Mar 16:07
Cockrell: Under old contract, CPS charged per beneficiary and under interim contract there is a lump sum charge. Can't compare them.

15 Mar 16:04
Mogoeng: How much has CPS been banking per month from Sassa, and how much will it get (in new agreement) from Sassa? he asks.

15 Mar 16:03
CJ Mogoeng says every prudent business entity would know "this is how much I make from this deal a month".

15 Mar 16:02

If this court can legitimise the process (agreement between CPS & Sassa), then CPS is wiling to continue with its services.

CPI has calculated the number of beneficiaries it plans to pay in the 2 year period, incl CPI which leads to new price that CPS wants.

Mogoeng wants a number. Cockrell says it can't do that now, but court will get the numbers after contract comes to an end.

15 Mar 15:59

15 Mar 15:59
Mogoeng says Treasury & Sassa would pay that money, if there was a court order saying it could do so.

15 Mar 15:58

Allpay II is the matter in which the ConCourt found CPS's contract invalid, suspended its finding if contract ends March 31.

#SASSA Justice Nkabinde says assuming treasury makes money available but there is no contract, would CPS take on its obligations.

Cockrell: Treasury can only transfer money to CPS if there is a contract (But forgetting legal duty can arise from Con Court order.)

It would be extraordinary if Treasury paid R11bn into my clients account when there is no contract in place, Cockrell says.

CJ Mogoeng says treasury would ensure money is paid into CPS and #SASSA accounts.

15 Mar 15:56

Cockrell: My client cannot discharge its Constitutional obligation come April 1 without a contract with #Sassa.

Cockrell stresses again CPS can't pay grants if Treasury doesn't give them the money to do so.

15 Mar 15:54
Justice Jafta asking about the basis of ordering a new contract, confused about the order from pvs matter which incl Allpay II

15 Mar 15:50
Cockrell: In the case of a new contract, it wouldn't comply with procurement requirements - unless directed by the Court.

15 Mar 15:48
Cockrell talks about 2 possibilities floated in court today, extension - which they have legality doubts about - and new contract.

15 Mar 15:47
Cockrell: Two possibilities before us - extend the existing agreement or order a new contract that takes effect from 1 April.

15 Mar 15:46

15 Mar 15:45
Mogoeng is asking if the questions asked by Treasury about the agreement agreed to earlier this month, was unreasonable?

15 Mar 15:45
Cockrell: CPS has no objection to oversight, to providing finances and motivating for what would be reasonable increase.

15 Mar 15:44
Mogoeng asks will you be able to render the service, without milking out the system but guided by conditions.

15 Mar 15:44
Cockrell says if the request for CPI adjustment increase weren't questioned by Sassa then what was wrong with the proposal?

15 Mar 15:43

Mogoeng asks the possibilities of continuing on the old terms.

Cockrell says he understood that to have been Breitenbach's submission, that they continue on old terms on the same price.

15 Mar 15:40
Froneman J: What are the consequences if the contract is not finalised? Can CPS walk away?

15 Mar 15:39

Froneman J: Are you telling us that this Court cannot order a contract? Cockrell: That is my submission.

Froneman J: Wouldn't it take time to finalise a contract between #SASSA and CPS? Cockrell: We have a draft contract not before the Court.

15 Mar 15:38

Justice Froneman asks again Cockrell whether CPS would choose not to accept a proposal on paying grants w/o a new contract?

Cockrell says it would not be just because the previous contract was unlawful .

15 Mar 15:35

Cockrell says he is not prepared to debate the continuation of an unlawful contract. He was not instructed to do so.

Mogoeng asks if CPS will say no, if the court grants an order, then Sassa & Treasury release the funds so that CPS can do its job?

CJ Mogoeng says when court makes an order for CPS to continue, #SASSA and treasury will release the money

Cockrell accedes that the issue is about who will determine the price on the contract going forward, after March 31.

15 Mar 15:31
Cockrell says his client just wants the CPI adjustment. Says he is in the IT sector.

15 Mar 15:31
CJ Mogeong says the issue is that CPS is saying they are not happy with what they are getting and wants more

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