FUL Welcomes Decision to Prosecute Bathabile Dlamini

24 August 2021

MEDIA STATEMENT BY FREEDOM UNDER LAW

Freedom Under Law welcomes the decision by the Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute former Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini for perjury or alternatively for giving false evidence. This is an important step in securing accountability in the long-running social grants crisis.

The charges relate to Ms Dlamini’s testimony provided before the Constitutional Court in connection with her personal involvement in the social grants crisis.

An application by Black Sash, in which FUL intervened, resulted in an exhaustive set of orders from the Court, among them that an inquiry be established to determine the Minister’s role and responsibility in the social grants crisis.

Following its consideration of the inquiry’s report, the Constitutional Court ordered that Ms Dlamini be held personally liable and that she herself pay a portion of the legal costs of the proceedings. It noted that the inquiry’s report suggested “very strongly that some of Minister Dlamini’s evidence under oath in the affidavits before this Court and orally before the Inquiry was false” and accordingly directed the registrar of the Court to forward a copy of the report to the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

The disclosure today of the decision to prosecute Ms Dlamini is an outcome of the Court’s direction. Important as it is, FUL maintains there is yet further accountability to be secured. While it was successful in its recent application to the Constitutional Court for an order to rerun the auditing and verification process of the profits earned by Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) in the unlawful social grants contract, that process has yet to be concluded.

FUL is hopeful that the conclusion of a proper auditing and verification process will ultimately result in an  an order that those profits be repaid.

ANN CROTTY: How we were saved from Sassa

25 October 2018

It’s chilling to think where we might be without an active civil society

You know you’ve done a pretty good job as a crisis committee when nobody notices you’ve stopped doing it. The experts appointed by the Constitutional Court to save the country from the consequences of chronic mismanagement by the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) were of course tagged as a panel, not a crisis committee. But let’s face it, they were sent in to sort out a crisis. This month they presented their 10th and final report to the court. It was as insightful, detailed and instructive as the previous nine. By their own admission the problems at Sassa are far from over; Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) is still clinging onto about 2-million beneficiaries through EasyPay Everywhere cards, and they indicate the new Sassa contract with the SA Post Office is deeply problematic. The panel has serious reservations about the Post Office’s ability to do the job expected of it. The first of the panel’s reports was delivered to the court in September 2017 and gave the remarkably refreshing …

https://www.businesslive.co.za/fm/opinion/boardroom-tails/2018-10-25-ann-crotty-how-we-were-saved-from-sassa/

FUL Welcomes Costs Order Against Minister Bathabile Dlamini

28 September 2018

Freedom Under Law (FUL) welcomes the judgment of the Constitutional Court delivered yesterday, ordering Minister Bathabile Dlamini to personally pay costs incurred by Black Sash and FUL in their litigation relating to the first extension of the Cash Paymaster Services contract for payment of social grants. The Court also ordered that a copy of the judgment and of the report issued by Judge Ngoepe as to Minister Dlamini’s personal liability for the social grants crisis be forwarded to the National Director of Public Prosecutions for determination as to whether Minister Dlamini should be prosecuted for perjury.


FUL believes the judgement to be an important vindication of accountability, sorely needed in the country at this time. 
However, the judgement cannot stand on its own. FUL notes that the judgment envisages an important accountability role for the NDPP in this matter and recalls that another very recent Constitutional Court judgment ordered the President to appoint a new NDPP within 90 days. It is imperative that a new head of the NPA, able to restore credibility and integrity to the institution, be installed as quickly as possible not only so that the full measure of accountability might be secured in this matter but for so many other matters clamouring for accountability in the country today.