14 April 2020
MEDIA STATEMENT BY FREEDOM UNDER LAW
Last Thursday Freedom Under Law lodged papers with the Constitutional Court asking it to intervene once again in the ongoing saga of the illegal social grants contract between Cash Paymaster Services and SASSA. This time it relates to the Court’s order that CPS’s audited profits from the contract be verified by SASSA and approved by Treasury.
FUL maintains that there has not been proper compliance with the order. SASSA’s independent auditors were denied full access to CPS’s financial records, but nonetheless concluded that CPS may have underreported its profits by more than R800 million, and Treasury did not give its approval. The absence of an open, independently verified and authoritatively approved audit frustrates the ultimate purpose of the Court’s orders, which was to secure CPS’s repayment of the profit it made under the unlawful contract and its extensions.
This state of affairs, says FUL CEO Nicole Fritz, is unacceptable. “The possible recovery of more than a billion Rand from CPS is important to ensure that there is no perpetuation of the unlawfulness of the social grants contract. But it becomes even more important in light of the current threats we face and the pronounced risk this presents for so many dependent on social grants.”
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 …
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.