'They mastered the art of demonising us' - Bathabile Dlamini writes in Parliament resignation letter

2019-06-11 12:08
Bathabile Dlamini. (Leon Sadiki, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

Bathabile Dlamini. (Leon Sadiki, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

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Former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini, who has resigned as a Member of Parliament, said she was demonised and made the scapegoat of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) scandal.

Dlamini made this assertion in her resignation letter to ANC secretary general Ace Magashule. 

READ: Who has resigned from Parliament so far?

In a 10-page letter dated May 10, she said she held no grudges about being reshuffled and subsequently axed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, adding that what disturbed her was the "legend that is being used is that there is a lot of noise around me". 

"I strongly believe that this was engineered somewhere because I was very naive about taking grant payment to local level."

Dlamini, who was found by the Constitutional Court to have acted recklessly and to be grossly negligent by failing to disclose information before an inquiry into her role in the social grants debacle, said the courts had never found her to be corrupt. 

READ MORE: Angry ANC members want integrity recommendations withdrawn – report

"The Constitutional Court made the court order on the basis that they viewed work streams as parallel processes which reported to me directly," she added.

Dlamini wrote that, while the court had never judged her to be corrupt, she had been criticised to make it look so. 

Dlamini was accused of failing to ensure that Sassa was equipped to administer social grants after a contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) was due to expire. The court were forced to extend the contract‚ even though it had been found illegal.

"What is important to me is that I never arrived with CPS to the department. I found them there already doing the work with the department but when people speak one hears nuisance that says I had something to do with CPS. Those that made profit through CPS by their wives are known but because they are respected by the organisation nothing is being said to them."

READ MORE: Public Protector also has Bathabile and Nomvula in her sights - report

Listing some of her achievements during her time as social development minister, she said the department had registered grant recipients, procurators and the system was cleaned up, beneficiaries were also registered through the biometric system, and that the department had saved R2bn on the fiscus. 

"I am convinced that our country is far from developing or improving because there are those among us that have the support of the media, that they mastered the art of demonising some of us and unfortunately they are seen as very committed, clean and innocent when they have shares in some of these institutions."

Challenging the status quo in the party, Dlamini said some leaders were afraid to ask questions to challenge those who defended monopoly capital. She added the Nasrec conference revealed to her that the ANC was not ready for a women president. 

"One other challenge is that of those that think they own the president and secretary general. The very same people that complained about this during the past leaderships are repeating this and I am not sure whether they think this is good when it is done by them. Its is worrisome that these members in the NEC that have fought all the presidents... I am waiting to see what they are planning to do next."

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