COPE expected Bathabile Dlamini to get jail term without a fine

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The Congress of the People (COPE) says it is disappointed with the sentence handed down to former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

The Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court has sentenced Dlamini to four years imprisonment or a fine of R200 000 with half of the sentence suspended.

The case relates to her testimony at an inquiry established by the Constitutional Court into her role in the 2017 social grant crisis.

The inquiry headed by Judge Bernard Ngoepe investigated whether Dlamini should be held personally liable for the costs of the South African Social Security Agency debacle.

The judge found that Dlamini had been evasive when questions were put to her during the inquiry. She was found guilty last month.

This after the Constitutional Court had declared the contract between the company tasked with the distribution of social grants, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and SASSA illegal and invalid.

COPE Spokesperson Dennis Bloem says perjury is a serious crime.

“We had expected that she will be sentenced to a jail term without a fine. Perjury is a very serious offence and must be treated as such. Nevertheless, we accept the sentence. It once again gives hope that our courts are independent.”

Magistrate Betty Khumalo found that Dlamini lied about being in several workstream meetings and that her evidence was contradictory to that of SASSA’s Zodwa Mvulane.

In the report below, perjury offence lands Dlamini with 4 year sentence or R200 000 fine: 

“I will step aside if asked” 

Meanwhile, Dlamini told SABC News that she will step aside if she is asked to do so. She will know her fate when she meets with African National Congress (ANC) leaders before the end of this week.

According to the party’s 54th National Conference Resolution, any member convicted of a crime must resign.

Dlamini elaborates in the video below: