You can't make me pay for grants saga, Dlamini tells ConCourt

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Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has refused to answer questions on whether she effectively fired Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza. The minister has accused journalists of harassing her.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini on Monday said the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) could not make her pay for the social grants crisis.

In papers before the top court on Monday, Dlamini argued it was wrong in law for the court to hold a minister personally liable.

Instead, she says it is up to the National Assembly to call her to account.

Dlamini says it is constitutionally impermissible for the court to make her pay.

The comments were made in response to Judge Bernard Ngoepe&39;s report dated 4 April.

Ngoepe found Dlamini was "less than satisfactory" as a witness in the Section 38 inquiry over work streams.

READ: D-day for Bathabile Dlamini to respond to damning Sassa report

Last year, National Treasury told Parliament the highly irregular streams cost over R40 million.

These workstreams, established by Dlamini, were canned in mid-2017.

Dlamini&39;s papers are a last-ditch bid to ward off paying legal fees out of her own pocket.

She says Ngoepe "did not make any findings" that she "acted in bad faith".

As such, there is no basis in fact or law for personally charging her with legal fees.

The fees relate to the 2017 bid to extend the irregular contract between Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and the South African Social Security Agency.

Dlamini argued the Constitutional Court cannot fulfil the function of the National Assembly.

She further highlights there is no allegation before the court that she "violated clearly established statutory or constitutional rights" of social grant beneficiaries.

What is more, the question of paying costs herself did not arise during pleadings.

To entertain this would break with precedent, she submits.

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