After less than a week at the helm of SASSA, a number of serious allegations surrounding the independence and character of the new acting CEO, Ms Pearl Bhengu, are now being raised.
While this is disturbing, it is not unexpected considering that Social Development Minister, Dodging Bathabile Dlamini, herself has acted in a highly questionable way for some time now.
The DA will write to the Minister to ask her a number of key questions regarding the CEO vacancy as well as Bhengu’s suitability to hold the office of CEO of SASSA.
Specifically, the Minister must answer:
- When will the position for a permanent SASSA CEO be advertised?
- Whether the allegations that the Minister’s daughter, Skhumbuzo Mazibuko, and Bhengu are business partners are true? If so, this raises major questions about ethics and conflict of interest.
- Why has Bhengu been enjoying close protection, for how long and who did the threat analysis and what was the nature of this threat?
The Constitutional Court deadline of 31 March 2018, for SASSA to procure the services of an alternative service provider, is fast approaching.
The DA is of the belief that Dodging Dlamini manufactured the crisis in the first place, most likely to ensure that CPS would continue to distribute grants and that she or her cronies would somehow benefit financially.
However, this time, the process must be transparent and not in the hands of individuals who seem to reside in the pockets of this disdainful and arrogant Minister.
17 Million poor and vulnerable South Africans depend on social grants and they deserve to have people at the head of SASSA and the Department of Social Development who work to improve the lives of the people, not just for selfish gain.
The fact is that the Minister must prioritise the appointment of a permanent and suitable SASSA CEO.
The DA simply will not stand by and watch as another social grants crisis unfold.
Bridget Masango MP
DA Shadow Minister of Social Development