Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini on Wednesday. Photo: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

Johannesburg - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is set to be questioned on the alleged sidelining of her former director-general Zane Dangor on important decisions within the department.

Late on Wednesday afternoon Dlamini was questioned by Advocate Vincent Maleka, for Dangor, on her decision to appoint members of  workstreams without consulting Dangor.

Dlamini avoided answering the question and asked “But who should I be consulting?”

A frustrated Maleka told Dlamini to answer the questions and not respond with her own follow up questions.

Dangor resigned from the department in early 2017. 

Dlamini was in the hot seat for the third day of  the Sassa inquiry which was commissioned by the Constitutional Court. 

Its aim is to determine whether she should be held personally responsible for the Sassa grants crisis.

ALSO READ: Dlamini denies sidelining former Sassa CEO Magwaza

The minister spent most of her cross-examination avoiding questions by not answering directly, but she also spent time shifting the blame for the grants crisis to her former colleagues; Dangor and former Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza.

She testified earlier this week that she was only made aware that Sassa would not be able to meet the deadline to take over social grants in October 2016 and was left in the dark for four months.

Dlamini claims when she found out that a crisis was looming, she then sprung into action and mandated staff to start working towards meeting the deadline.

The minister, who appeared visibly  irritated at times, said the decision to appoint workstreams was not handled by her, but was a collective decision.

The controversial workstreams were appointed in 2015 by Dlamini. They cost the taxpayers over R40 million and were labelled as wasteful expenditure by Treasury.

The members of the workstreams reported directly to Dlamini and were allegedly doing parallel work already done by Sassa employees. 

Magwaza then took a decision to cancel the streams last year.

The inquiry resumes on Thursday.

Politics Hub