Bathabile Dlamini NEC

Oyster Box minister allegedly gave her mates a one-up in SASSA grants scheme

Bathabile Dlamini is in trouble again, this time for awarding a CPS tender, meant to help millions of vulnerable South Africans get their social grants, to her buddies.

Bathabile Dlamini NEC

The DA’s Bridget Masango has called for minister of social development Bathabile Dlamini to get the boot.

This isn’t the first time Dlamini, charged with protecting South Africa’s most vulnerable, has found herself at the centre of controversy. Earlier this year the minister made headlines when she said the average South African can get by on just R753 a month… just before it got out that she had spent R11 000 a night at Durban’s swanky Oyster Box Hotel.

Anyway, Masango released a statement insisting the minister gets the cut, for this newest scandal:

“The Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, must be suspended immediately, pending a full investigation into allegations that the invalid contract, awarded to Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to distribute social grants to 17 million vulnerable South Africans benefitted her friends.

Today’s AmaBhungane report, published on Daily Maverick, exposes an unbelievable web of brazenly corrupt dealings, involving politically connected middlemen, fake BEE contracts and brazenly dishonest government officials.

At the centre of this web is a close friend of Minister Dlamini’s, Lunga Ncwana, who rose to infamy when he funnelled political payments from Brett Kebble to the ANC.

Essentially, CPS director, Serge Belamant, used front BEE partners to win the contract and then, using money received from SASSA, replaced these front partners with businessman, Brian Mosehla, who pocketed an astounding R83 million from the CPS deal.

Minister Dlamini and Mr Mosehla share a close friend, Mr Ncwana.

The crux of the matter is that the Minister’s friend, Mr Ncwana, is intimately tied to both CPS’s tendered empowerment partners, as well as to Mr Mosehla, and these links seem to point to dodgy dealings.

These allegations, based on years of connecting the dots, must be fully investigated.

The DA has long held that the Department of Social Development (DSD) and SASSA were not ready to take over the distribution of R10 billion in social grants to 17 million South Africans. This was confirmed on Tuesday.

The DA believe that neither the DSD nor SASSA ever intended to take over the distribution in order to force the extension of the invalid contract with CSP.

It has now become clear why this would be beneficial to a few politically connected individuals.

Regrettably, this is the level of corruption we have come to expect from the ANC government.

If, as the DA suspected, this invalid contract with CPS is going to be renewed, we demand that the negotiations leading to that renewal are made public and transparent.

Of key importance is that payment to social grant recipients after 31 March next year must not be put at risk by any process.

The DA is equally disturbed that the South African taxpayer has been made to pay millions of rands for the work of initially the Ministerial Advisory Committee and later the work streams while all the time it was known that CPS’s invalid and irregular contract would be extended.

What makes this case unacceptable is that it involves public monies set aside for the poorest of the poor. South Africa’s poor deserve more from those who claim to represent them in government. DA will continue to use every avenue able to ensure that those involved in these dodgy dealings are held to account.”