SASSA BOSS SPEAKS

CityPress - - News -

That meet­ing, which took place at OR Tambo In­ter­na­tional Air­port – after Mag­waza had flown in from Cape Town – was also at­tended by top so­cial de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cials and Sassa man­age­ment, as well as staff who had worked on the October re­port.

With Dlamini’s spe­cial ad­viser, Sipho Shezi, chair­ing the meet­ing, the af­fi­davit that had been drawn up in the pre­vi­ous night’s meet­ing with Dlamini was changed.

“I kept quiet dur­ing the meet­ing be­cause I was per­turbed with what was tak­ing place,” Mag­waza said.

He then urged that the doc­u­ment which had been agreed upon be filed im­me­di­ately in court “be­cause time is run­ning out for us”.

After the meet­ing he went to the air­port po­lice sta­tion and signed the af­fi­davit.

Later that night, he re­ceived a note from Sassa’s le­gal ser­vices, “say­ing that we have been in­structed not to file the doc­u­ment” and that the in­struc­tion had come from Dlamini.

“So, the pa­pers were not filed. I was not happy, but I kept quiet be­cause the min­is­ter had taken over,” said Mag­waza.

ONCE MORE, HOLD YOUR HORSES

With the March 31 dead­line loom­ing, mark­ing the end of the con­tract with CPS, Mag­waza said he signed an af­fi­davit to file doc­u­ments with the court at Lin­den Po­lice Sta­tion in Johannesburg on Fe­bru­ary 27. The fol­low­ing day, the doc­u­ments were filed be­fore court. How­ever, later that day Dlamini in­structed that they be with­drawn.

Mag­waza said Sassa le­gal ser­vices man­ager Bu­sisiwe Mahlobo­goana was first to re­ceive an email from Sukazi, or­der­ing her to with­draw the af­fi­davit on the in­struc­tions of Dlamini.

Mahlobo­goana replied she could only take such in­struc­tions from her Sassa CEO.

This in­ter­ac­tion was fol­lowed by an email with an at­tach­ment from Zodwa Mvu­lane, the pay­ment tran­si­tion project man­ager. The email stated that Sukazi had been ap­pointed as the at­tor­ney in charge and Mahlobo­goana should do as he in­structed.

She com­plied after be­ing in­structed do so by the then act­ing CEO, Mzobe.

Mag­waza said he later heard that the court re­fused to with­draw the af­fi­davit, in­sist­ing that sound rea­son must be given for this to hap­pen.

How­ever, Sukazi de­nied that Dlamini played any role in de­lay­ing sub­mit­ting pa­pers to the court. “It seems the de­lay was caused more by a dif­fer­ence of opin­ion as to the le­gal ap­proach. Such dif­fer­ences led to the fil­ing of the now aborted ap­pli­ca­tion at court.”

NO TO IL­LE­GAL DE­CI­SIONS

Mag­waza said that after dis­cus­sions with Trea­sury and the SA Re­serve Bank, it had been agreed that Sassa should ap­proach the court to val­i­date any ac­tion to be taken.

CPS would be a vi­able so­lu­tion, but only for a short pe­riod. An al­ter­na­tive op­tion, al­beit later, would in­volve banks and the SA Post Of­fice.

Mag­waza had pre­vi­ously writ­ten to the Post Of­fice re­quest­ing a meet­ing to avert the loom­ing cri­sis, but was told he had up­set Dlamini. “I asked why, given that the Post Of­fice is a state-owned en­tity,” he said.

Mag­waza said he be­lieved 12 months was more than enough time to fix the prob­lem, hence his ad­vo­cat­ing for a short-term con­tract with CPS.

“I am the CEO and I have done th­ese things be­fore ... For peo­ple to come from out­side to tell me that it can­not be done, that is out.

“All the threats of sus­pen­sion are be­cause they say I am not toe­ing the line.

“I tried [to file court pa­pers] on Fe­bru­ary 6, but I could not, then I tried on the 14th and I was stopped. I tried on the 15th and I was stopped again. Then I was forced to file this thing on the 27th. Now I have been ac­cused of do­ing so with­out per­mis­sion.”

Mag­waza added that he did not think he would be sus­pended on his re­turn to work – which hap­pens to­mor­row – as “that would be sui­cide on their part”.

He said staff had de­fied in­struc­tions not to talk to him while he was on leave, but had called him for ad­vice. He had told them that in fol­low­ing in­struc­tions, “I im­plore you not to take il­le­gal de­ci­sions”.

Mag­waza ques­tioned the de­lay in mov­ing him to his new po­si­tion at Sassa. “I was ap­pointed in June, but I only took of­fice in Novem­ber. This is an­other ques­tion that needs to be in­ter­ro­gated.

“Why I was not al­lowed to come in be­tween June and Novem­ber?” he asked.

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