Social Development minister Bathabile Dlamini said on Monday that she did not inform the Constitutional Court in her affidavit that she had established workstreams because it was not relevant.
“Paragraph 13 of the 17 March Constitutional Court order is clear. It concerned whether I should be joined to the proceedings in my personal capacity and whether or not I should be held personally liable for the costs of the Black Sash application‚” Dlamini said in a statement submitted in November.
She is appearing before an inquiry into her role in the social grants saga‚ which kicked off on Monday.
Retired Judge Bernard Ngoepe is heading the inquiry.
“The work of the workstreams‚ their composition‚ objectives and technical reports were not‚ I believed‚ at issue nor relevant to the question the court had raised‚” Dlamini said.
She said she did not‚ at any stage regard the workstreams as a parallel process to that of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa).
“The workstreams reported to Sassa at regular intervals. I‚ in contrast‚ only had one meeting with the workstreams in which they updated me on progress.
“In the circumstances‚ I did not consider it necessary to deal with the reporting structure of the workstreams in my affidavit to the Constitutional Court…”
The Constitutional Court early last year ordered that an inquiry be established to set out Dlamini’s roles and responsibilities as social development minister.
The court found that it could not make an “adverse” order against the minister on the basis of allegations that have not been tested.
The court ordered that all parties involved in the matter appoint a judge to investigate whether Dlamini should be held liable for the grants saga.
The Black Sash Trust approached the court in March after the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) acknowledged it would not be able to pay millions of grants from April 1‚ despite promising the court in November 2015 it would do so.