Scopa says Mag­waza was shown the door

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

THE Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Ac­counts (Scopa) has ac­cused So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Batha­bile Dlamini of push­ing for­mer South African So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency CEO Thokozani Mag­waza out of his job.

Scopa chair­per­son Themba Godi said yes­ter­day that Mag­waza did not re­sign, but was pushed.

Ear­lier, Mag­waza told The Star of death threats against him, say­ing he had re­ported them to Crime In­tel­li­gence at the po­lice.

This was be­fore Dlamini is­sued a state­ment that Mag­waza and the de­part­ment had parted ways.

“This thing has been go­ing on for a while. I spoke to Crime In­tel­li­gence. I don’t want to talk about the stuff,” said Mag­waza.

Mag­waza could not be reached for com­ment af­ter his de­par­ture from the de­part­ment.

Godi in­sisted that Mag­waza had been pushed be­cause he did not agree with Dlamini.

He said they were shocked and an­gry at the lat­est twist of events at Sassa.

“The min­is­ter, in­stead of pro­tect­ing Mag­waza, pushed him out. They are right in the mid­dle of fi­nal­is­ing a con­tract with the South African Post Of­fice,” said Godi.

The Scopa chair­per­son said he hoped Mag­waza’s de­par­ture would not im­pact on the ne­go­ti­a­tions over a con­tract with Sapo.

“My un­der­stand­ing is that the min­is­ter pushed him out be­cause their re­la­tion­ship has ir­re­triev­ably bro­ken down,” said Godi.

Dlamini’s spokesper­son Lumka Oliphant re­fused to be drawn into any spec­u­la­tion and said the min­istry stood by its state­ment on the part­ing of ways be­tween Mag­waza and the de­part­ment.

“The Min­is­ter of So­cial De­vel­op­ment, Ms Batha­bile Dlamini, and the CEO of Sassa, Mr Thokozani Mag­waza, have agreed to ter­mi­nate the ser­vices of the lat­ter af­ter a con­sul­ta­tive process led by the head of le­gal ser­vices, ad­vo­cate Nkosi­nathi Dladla, in terms of the pro­vi­sions of his con­tract of em­ploy­ment,” said Oliphant.

Mag­waza was due to file pa­pers in the Con­sti­tu­tional Court on why Dlamini should pay le­gal costs from her own pocket.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties and civil so­ci­ety have also ac­cused Dlamini of fir­ing Mag­waza.

DA spokesper­son on so­cial de­vel­op­ment Brid­get Masango de­scribed the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the for­mer Sassa CEO with Dlamini as strained.

“The DA is gravely con­cerned about Mag­waza’s de­par­ture as he has played an im­por­tant role in find­ing an al­ter­na­tive ser­vice provider in line with the Con­sti­tu­tional Court dead­line of March 31, 2018,” said Masango.

IFP spokesper­son on so­cial de­vel­op­ment Liesl van der Merwe said Mag­waza was pushed for speak­ing out.

“It is clear that Mr Mag­waza has been pushed out of his po­si­tion af­ter he spoke out against Min­is­ter Batha­bile Dlamini’s man­u­fac­tur­ing of the CPS/Sassa cri­sis in af­fi­davits to the Con­sti­tu­tional Court,” said Van der Merwe.

The Or­gan­i­sa­tion Un­do­ing Tax Abuse also spoke out against Mag­waza’s de­par­ture from Sassa. It said it was clear that Mag­waza had been pushed out of the job.

GO­ING, GO­ING, GONE: Thokozani Mag­waza

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