Johannesburg – It took 35 minutes for Constitutional Court Justice Johan Froneman to hand down judgment in the Sassa matter on Friday.
He ordered that Sassa’s invalid contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to pay grants be extended for 12 months. The court thus suspended its declaration of the invalidity of the previous contract for that period.
This is what Froneman had to say:
– Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini placed the programme of social assistance in jeopardy through her actions;
– There must be public accountability for how the matter was allowed to reach the point it got to;
– It was one of the “deepest and most shaming of ironies” that government had to rely on a private company, CPS, to get it out of its predicament;
– No party had any claim to profit from the threatened invasion of people’s rights, and at the same time no one should be expected to be out of pocket for ensuring those rights were met;
– Extending the CPS contract would mean extending its invalidity;
– Dlamini had the primary responsibility to ensure Sassa did its job, as she appointed its CEO;
– Dlamini must explain before March 31 why she should not personally have to pay the legal costs of the parties who brought the matter to court and;
– The sole reason for the litigation was Sassa and Dlamini’s failure to keep their promise to the people of South Africa. DM
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