Cash Paymaster Services loses appeal bid, ordered to pay R316m back to Sassa

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Sassa head office. (Alet Pretorius, Gallo Images, file)
Sassa head office. (Alet Pretorius, Gallo Images, file)

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has ordered Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to pay back an amount of R316m back to the South African Social Services Agency (Sassa). 

CPS had approached the SCA to appeal a 2018 ruling of the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that it repays the agency, with interest.  

READ | CPS not paying R316m back to Sassa without a fight

This after Sassa paid CPS in 2014 after the company claimed it had enrolled more grant recipients and beneficiaries than for which it had been contracted to provide services.

Civil society organisation Corruption Watch petitioned the court in 2015 to have the payment reversed.

Earlier this month, CPS reportedly argued before the SCA justices that Sassa unduly benefited from a service for which they did not pay. 

CPS also argued that "the penny dropped" after the contract between the parties in question came into effect and it realised that 11 million beneficiaries had to be registered in addition to the nine million to which it had agreed, OFM reported. 

However, in handing down his judgment on Monday, Judge Clive Plasket said: "In my view, CPS's claim for payment was contrived and opportunistic." 

"There was consequently no lawful basis for the decision to pay CPS the amount of R316 447 361.41, and it must be repaid by CPS to SASSA. As a result, the appeal must fail."

amaBhungane previously reported that Sassa and then chief executive officer Virginia Petersen, at the time accepted the CPS claim at face value and paid the R316m.

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