Don’t let Sassa blackmail courts

It is scandalous that the Constitutional Court, the highest judicial body in the country, is being forced to turn a blind eye to ongoing illegal activity to ensure that millions of government grant recipients continue to get their meagre monthly payments.

Before a full bench of the court, a clearly upset Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo attacked the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) for what he said appeared to be “an attitude of not caring” about the ongoing delays in transferring the grant payments system from the current contract holder, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), to the Post Office.

Zondo said: “It’s as if the attitude is that the court has no choice. It will give us what we want.”

The judge is absolutely correct.

Sassa, which falls under the department of social development (egregiously mismanaged by the former minister, Bathabile Dlamini), has been cynically using the country’s most vulnerable people to blackmail the courts into accepting its repeated delays.

This occurred even after the Constitutional Court gave the organisation a deadline to get its act together. That deadline was April 1 last year – and Sassa has since asked for repeated extensions.

We simply do not believe anything Sassa says about the hold-ups.

There needs to be a commission of inquiry – similar to that about to be launched into state capture – into the details of the controversial CPS contract and why officials in Dlamini’s department and in Sassa made such extraordinary efforts to ensure that CPS continued to make money off that contract, despite court judgments.

The people who have been involved in the delaying actions since April 1, 2017 are, effectively, in contempt of court. They must be held accountable.

No one should be allowed to blackmail the judicial system.

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International News


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