Bathabile Dlamini misses another Constitutional Court deadline

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. (Gallo)

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. (Gallo)

UPDATE: Dlamini has not submitted her affidavit to Concourt, but her legal team has sent it to parties involved in the application.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has missed a deadline to explain to the Constitutional Court why she should not pay legal fees from her own pocket.

Dlamini was meant to explain in an affidavit why she should not pay the costs by 4pm on Friday. The office of the registrar, where papers are submitted, is now closed.

On March 17, the court delivered a searing judgment that indicted Dlamini for the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) crisis. Justice Johan Froneman, reading the judgement, said Dlamini was responsible for the crisis.
At the time of the judgment, Sassa had not yet secured a delivery system to pay grants.

“The office holder ultimately responsible for the crisis and the events that led to it is the person who holds executive political officer,” reads the full version of the judgment.

The judgment described Dlamini’s conduct as “extraordinary” and further said that she should motivate why she should not be held personally liable for costs.

This is the third deadline handed down by the court that Dlamini has missed. The first was a directive by the court to provide detailed answers on who is accountable for the crisis at Sassa. The second was another directive the court issued, asking Dlamini to explain why the first deadline was missed.

Dlamini is among those who many believe should have been fired by Zuma during his Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday night. On Friday, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema questioned why Dlamini hadn’t been fired after the presidency announced that 20 ministers and deputy ministers, including former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, had been affected by the move.

The court judgment confirmed that Dlamini is responsible for Sassa’s failure to secure grant payments timeously. The minister had two weeks to motivate to the court why she should not be held personally liable for the crisis. 

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather

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