Magwaza leaves Sassa amid process to replace CPS

Xavier Trudeau
Juillet 18, 2017

Magwaza clashed with Dlamini over the handling of social grants, with Net1's subsidiary Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) having the contract to distribute grants.

Magwaza is now leading negotiations with the South African Post Office (Sapo) for it to help Sassa distribute grants.

The resignation of Magwaza also comes amid a Constitutional Court judgment in March which requires Sassa and the minister to periodically file reports with the court every three months‚ setting out how they plan to ensure the payment of social grants in-house after the expiry of the 12-month extension of CPS' services ordered by the court.

In a brief statement issued on Monday afternoon, the department said Magwaza's services were terminated "after a consultative process led by the head of legal services, Advocate Nkosinathi Dladla, in terms of the provisions of his contract of employment".

Former social development director general Zane Dangor resigned from the department in March, citing a breakdown in the relationship between himself and Dlamini.

Godi said Dlamini had to put government interests above personal considerations.

National Treasury had declared their appointment irregular. In affidavits to the Constitutional Court in March, Magwaza and Dangor set out that the workstreams formed parallel structures within Sassa and had specifically favoured a solution involving CPS.

The cancellation of the work streams allegedly prompted the death threats against Magwaza.

Magwaza is due to testify against the minister in a public inquiry into her role in the debacle.

"As Scopa, we are shocked and angry at what is evidently brazen lawlessness by a criminal gang of rent seekers who want to intimidate Magwaza out of his job so they can frustrate the Sassa Sapo contract and instead open the door for the looting of public funds", Godi said.

"Last week Mr Magwaza announced the disillusion of work streams which irregularly were appointed by the minister according to the treasury".

This is bound to end up as SassaGate reloaded in March 2018 as it is highly unlikely that Sassa, now without Magwaza at the helm, will continue to negotiate with SAPO or other potential partners that are not favoured by Dlamini and those officials who support her.

"Mr Magwaza is hardly a year in office".

The Daily Maverick revealed on Friday that a third party was putting pressure on Magwaza to accept a "lucrative exit package" to leave the agency.

He said Magwaza had been right in terminating the work streams. "Its just another delaying tactic on the part of the minister at this critical stage", she said.

Scopa chairman Themba Godi said the committee was shocked and upset about this development.

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