Former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled that former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini should not be held personally liable for the costs of the joint application by Black Sash Trust and Freedom Under Law to halt the extension of the Cash Paymaster Services grant payments tender. 

The ConCourt instead ordered the South African Social Agency (Sassa) and the Chief Executive Officer Pearl Bhengu, in her official capacity, to pay the costs of the application jointly and severally.

Earlier reports had suggested that Dlamini could be held liable for the costs which include fees of two counsel. The matter was in connection with the six-month extension of the deadline of the controversial contract Sassa had with CPS.

In April the Black Sash Trust, together with Freedom Under Law, took Dlamini to court to determine whether she should personally bear litigation costs after Sassa had to “at the 11th hour” apply to the court for a six-month extension with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to continue to provide payments to beneficiaries.

The court had previously declared the contract invalid but suspended the declaration to ensure there was no disruption in the payment of social grants.

African News Agency/ANA