Monday is the final day for written submissions in response to Judge Bernard Ngoepe’s report on Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s role in the 2017 social grant crisis.

The Ngoepe inquiry was set up to help the Constitutional Court determine whether the former Social Development minister should be personally liable for the legal costs.

Judge Ngoepe found that Dlamini’s answers to questions during the inquiry were not satisfactory. She also concealed the extent of her involvement in the crisis because she was afraid of being saddled with the hefty costs.

Ngoepe found that minister Dlamini did herself no favours by failing to disclose. He found that the Minister insisted that work streams be appointed and that they report directly to her.

Former Sassa CEO, Thokozani Magwaza and Department DG Zane Dangor complained that these workstreams operated as a parallel process which frustrated Sassa’s efforts to meet the deadline to take over payment of social grants from Cash Paymaster Services.

In 2015, Sassa promised the Constitutional Court that they would be ready to in-source the payment of social grants by April 2017 after the court invalidated their contract with Cash Paymaster Services.

The Court was forced to extend that contract as the deadline loomed, with Sassa in no position to take over the payment function.

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