Sassa stopped Bathabile Dlamini's pension, justice department reveals

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. (GCIS)
Former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. (GCIS)
  • A claim that former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is being deprived of her pension on the basis of political instruction are untrue, the justice department says.
  • Her pension is being withheld in line with an instruction from Sassa and Dlamini is aware of "the current legal position".
  • The justice department says it's not "at liberty to reveal the exact nature" of the State Attorney’s instructions in the matter.

Claims that former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is being deprived of her pension, allegedly due to political instructions, are "without substance and are devoid of any truth", the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development said on Wednesday.

Dlamini recently told the Sunday Times she was strapped for cash because her pension had been blocked. She cited this as a reason for defying a Constitutional Court order to pay part of the legal costs to non-governmental organisations that won a social grants case against her in 2018.

The Constitutional Court found that Dlamini had lied in court papers when she defended an application by Black Sash and Freedom Under Law (FUL) in relation to the distribution of social grants payments. The court then ordered her to personally pay 20% of the legal costs incurred by Black Sash and the FUL, according to The Witness.

READ HERE | Questions over Bathabile Dlamini’s pension

The Office of the solicitor-general initiated an investigation into the claim and found that the instruction to withhold the payment of the former minister's pension was received from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), department spokesperson Stephen Mahlangu said.

"Reasons for the withdrawal of the pension are well known by the former minister and Sassa. Thus far, no party has contested them nor has there been any intention to do so," said Mahlangu.

"The State Attorney acts upon the instruction of its client, which are the departments and state entities that it represents. This matter in particular is currently being litigated by the parties which include the former minister."

Mahlangu said the solicitor-general was not "at liberty to reveal the exact nature of the instructions to the State Attorney".

ALSO READ | Bathabile Dlamini says 'the best judiciary is the judiciary that listens to the people' - report

He said that would be the discretion of Sassa as the client department.

"However, we can confirm that all the parties in the matter are in possession of the necessary documents which flow from this instruction and are fully aware of the current legal position. This includes the erstwhile Minister of Social Development," he said.

"Politics do not play any role whatsoever in the work of the State Attorney's office and insinuations suggesting otherwise are malicious and should be outrightly be rejected."

Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
As a child or as an adult, have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, at school
55% - 1665 votes
Yes, at work
17% - 513 votes
No, I've never experienced this
28% - 837 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo