South Africa

AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY

Bathabile Dlamini partially pays R200,000 fine to avoid prison for perjury

Former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini and current ANC Women’s League president has been fined R200 000 for perjury or four years' imprisonment. Photo: Supplied

On Friday former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini was sentenced to four years in prison or a R200,000 fine for perjury.

“Comrade Bathabile, thank God tonight you will be sleeping at home with your family. We know there are those who wanted to see you tonight in the prison cells and they have not succeeded.”

These were words of dismissed ANC staff member Carl Niehaus in support of former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini after she was sentenced for perjury in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on 1 April 2022.

To avoid prison, Dlamini immediately settled 20% of the fine, as prescribed by the judge. 

Dlamini, who is currently serving as ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) president, lied under oath while she was minister of social development. This was in relation to her testimony during an inquiry into her role in the 2017 South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants crisis which created uncertainty for millions of beneficiaries.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Betty Khumalo said if Dlamini wished to go home, she would have to make an immediate upfront payment of 20% and settle the balance by 29 April 2022. Khumalo added that she came to the decision on Dlamini’s sentencing after considering that it was the second time the former minister had been found guilty of an offence associated with dishonesty. 

In 2003, Dlamini was one of the MPs convicted of fraud in the Travelgate scandal for claiming R254,000 in undue benefits. She was one of the worst offenders in the scandal, in which a number of ANC MPs abused Parliament’s travel system to the tune of R18-million. Dlamini was then sentenced to a fine of R120,000 or five years’ imprisonment and a further five years’ imprisonment suspended conditionally for five years. She opted to pay the fine and was promoted to then-president Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet in 2009. 

A number of ANC Women’s League members as well as corruption accused former Free State Premier Ace Magashule and suspended North West secretary of the ANC Supra Mahumapelo joined Niehaus in a show of support for Dlamini.

After court proceedings had concluded, Magashule told supporters and the media that the case was about dethroning Dlamini from the women’s league: “We are happy today but not too happy because we can see people want to finish the ANC so that they run South Africa with the whites. If you can’t see that they are just trying to do away with the ANC so that the DA must run the country, you are still sleeping; wake up. The case against Bathabile is to ensure that she is dethroned from her position as the ANC women’s league president. Three weeks ago ‘people’ were urging Bathabile to step down and the women’s league national committee has defended her.”

Dlamini thanked her supporters, saying: “It hasn’t been an easy journey. I had many praying for me day and night. The sentencing has been well received and it has made me reflect and make a commitment that from here I am going to be my best and be the decisive woman who can not be told on the side what to do. What has happened has made me believe we need more women in decision-making authority.”

Dlamini was removed from her position as minister of social development and moved to the portfolio for women when Cyril Ramaphosa became president, but she was dropped from the Cabinet in a reshuffle the following year. DM

 

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All Comments 12

  • So sad that the option of a fine remains. Most of these fines that will be offered for others will be from ill gotten gains anyhow.Carl, go back to sleep – your opinion is worthless! anyhow on a positive note – the start of some punishment.

  • When is someone going to explain to Bathabile that we don’t need “more women in decision-making authority.” … but more competent people, irrespective of whether they are men, women or transgender people ?

  • Ms Dlamini has no moral compass with this her 2nd conviction for dishonestly.
    It is a sad day when elected officials do not know right from wrong.
    How morally bereft are those in leadership and those who elected such leadership?
    The content of the quoted comments by Mr Magashule and Ms Dlamini at the end of the article is disturbing, to say the least.
    Are these the best leaders we have?

  • Sounds as if the RET crew will use anything at all to try & discredit the honest citizens in SA. TRhe factv that any senior politician is fairly tried in court is a mess, but to be found guilty of any crime – but particularly lying – is wretched but one would have thought an apology would have been the first thing on their minds. BUT – noooo.. it is all about the DA & whites. Such bulls**t …

  • Dlamini is sentenced to a 2 month salaried value fine for lying while acting as a minister, while a young student is sentenced to 5 years in jail for abusing an administrative error made by the government. Where is the justice in this situation? It proves that privilege attracts privilege in this country!

  • I watched the clip on News24 of this with Carl Niehaus and her supporters STILL calling for a second term in the ANCWL. What brain dead people exist? Especially to support this perpetually dishonest character? No wonder Niehaus and Magashule are there too. Mind blown, is South Africa this far gone?

  • One can only wonder at the blind stupidly of her supporters, in particular Niehaus and Magashule, themselves not covered in any sort of glory! Paying a fine in lieu of imprisonment is an admission of guilt, in this case that it took the minister close to 18 years to come to the conclusion that she must do better …

  • I wonder how many Savannah’s are in that handbag ! I can’t believe the fine is less than the money she stole!! Make it a few million and then put her in jail when she can’t pay..

  • Punishment is to pay a fine with I’ll gotten gains, great result judge….
    Until the sentencing is only custodial, these court cases are just a waste of everyone’s time and money.

  • How does a past government employee afford a pricey Louis Vuitton handbag and a Burberry blouse? Corruption comes to mind!

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