Former Minister Bathabile Dlamini sentenced

Nobody can be pleased to see a once powerful person humbled. But Freedom Under Law is gratified that its ongoing battle to clean up the mess at SASSA has borne some fruit. More importantly, today’s sentencing of former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, convicted of the crime of perjury, demonstrates that our justice system is capable of dealing fittingly with criminality in high places.

The sentence underlines the seriousness of the offence of which she was convicted. Essentially, perjury is lying to a court. That she, a minister, was untruthful was all the more deplorable. Had she succeeded in her dishonesty, and prevented the Constitutional Court from effectively resolving the social grants crisis, beneficiaries would have been even more vulnerable. Moreover, the elaborate and complex Court process would have been wasted — at taxpayers’ expense.

We can only trust today’s proceedings mark the end of this sordid saga.