JOHANNESBURG - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Monday called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini following damning findings by retired Judge Bernard Ngoepe on her conduct in the social grants debacle.
Outa said Dlamini oversaw ''the disastrous'' Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract with Sassa, before she was moved by Ramaphosa to head the women portfolio in the Presidency.
''Outa believes that the damage she did to the Department of Social Development remains insurmountable and has asked President Ramaphosa to fire her as a minister. She deliberately delayed the implementation of an alternative to CPS, lied about the capabilities of the South African Post Office and manipulated the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) reports to ensure that the contract was extended to benefit CPS,'' Dominique Msibi, Outa's portfolio manager for special projects said in a statement.
''It is ludicrous that the extension will result in recipients now personally paying an additional R10 in bank administration fees, an amount they cannot afford.''
Dlamini has until end of business on Monday to respond to Ngoepe's damning report submitted to the Constitutional Court on April 4. Ngoepe was highly critical of Dlamini’s testimony at the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) inquiry, saying she was evasive and avoided answering questions. Dlamini, said Ngoepe, chose to respond with ''I do not know'' or ''I don't remember'' to key questions posed to her at the inquiry.
The Constitutional Court-mandated inquiry investigated whether Dlamini should be held liable for the legal costs incurred in the protracted Sassa debacle. Ngoepe headed the inquiry held at the Office of the Chief Justice in Midrand.
Msibi said ministers who leave a trail of destruction behind should be held accountable and not be reappointed to other ministries in the hope that the damage they caused ''would go away.''
“It is ironic that she has been moved to the Ministry of Women, considering her record of abusing the benefits meant for oppressed elderly women and vulnerable children.''
African News Agency/ANA