Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s insistence that there was nothing untoward with the appointment of advisories or so-called workstreams led to a heated exchange with Black Sash Advocate, Geoff Budlender.

The minister is testifying before an inquiry as to who should be held accountable for 2017’s grant crisis.

The Constitutional Court was forced to extend an unlawful contract.

The South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) knew in April 2016 already that they would not be able to take over the payment of grants.

However, the minister says she only became aware of this some six months later via the work streams.

Budlender said that through the work streams, the minister unlawfully meddled in Sassa’s operations.

Budlender asked: “You don’t have the power to run Sassa. Let me put it that way?”

Dlamini responded: “Where did I run Sassa?”

Bundlender: “I’m asking you. Do you have the power to run Sassa.”

Dlamini: “Where did I run Sassa?”

Bundlender: “Minister would you answer the question please do you say that you have the power to run Sassa?”

Dlamini: “I don’t understand the purpose of such a question.”