Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has said that if President Jacob Zuma decides to remove her‚ she will not fight his decision.
She said she saw the Constitutional Court ruling as her “second chance in life” to show she is capable of doing her job.
She was speaking at a social grants roadshow meeting in Kempton Park on Friday‚ hours after the Constitutional Court ruled that Cash Paymaster Services would continue to pay social grants for the next 12 months.
Most of her speech dealt with explaining how the grants crisis had unfolded‚ a speech very similar to the one she delivered last week to the standing committee on public accounts.
“I think this should be in the minds of all of us. Before we started here I said to all the Sassa officials‚ let’s calm down and whatever decision [by the court] must be in favour of the people‚” Dlamini said.
“If it means that the president takes a decision that I must go‚ I can’t stand in the way of corrective measures by the president‚” she continued‚ to a chorus of “No!” from several people in the room.
She went on to say: “I think there must be an understanding that there are people who get very sick in their lifetime and when they get better they say that God has given them a second life. And I think that all of us as Social Development‚ Sassa‚ including the CEO‚ we all understand we’ve been given a second chance in life.”
Dlamini described the Constitutional Court ruling as “a victory for the people of South Africa”‚ while responding to questions from journalists after the meeting.
“We have always said Constitutional Court is important in this matter. Therefore we are all going to act according to the prescripts of the court‚” said Dlamini.
“One other thing that we want to do is to continuously apologise to South Africans‚ more particularly the beneficiaries for all the trouble they have taken and we want to say we are going to strive and ensure that this does not happen again.
“We also want to congratulate all our beneficiaries for this victory. Because this victory is not for individual people‚ it is directly the victory of grant beneficiaries‚” Dlamini said.
In response to other questions‚ it appeared that Dlamini would not shy away if she was ordered to pay the costs of the court battle.
“People think differently‚ this is the work of a collective‚ but if the courts said at the end of the day take responsibility‚ we are going to ask how we should take that responsibility‚” she said.
People who attended the meeting were given a chance to ask the minister questions. Many praised her for her hard work‚ saying they were proud of her.