Sassa CEO re­signs af­ter suf­fer­ing threats that out­raged MPs

The Witness - - NEWS -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — Min­is­ter of So­cial Devel­op­ment Batha­bile Dlamini yes­ter­day con­firmed that SA So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency CEO Thokozani Mag­waza has re­signed.

Dlamini said this was done af­ter a “con­sul­ta­tive process” led by the head of le­gal ser­vices Ad­vo­cate Nkosi­nathi Dladla.

“The de­part­ment would like to thank Mr Mag­waza for the role he played as the CEO of Sassa and wish him well in his fu­ture en­deav­ours.”

Ear­lier yes­ter­day Par­lia­ment’s watch­dog com­mit­tee Scopa yes­ter­day con­demned death threats al­legedly made against Mag­waza.

“It is shock­ing that the Min­is­ter of So­cial Devel­op­ment Ms Batha­bile Dlamini has not said a word or stood in sol­i­dar­ity with Mr Mag­waza, thus mak­ing him feel he is on his own,” Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Ac­counts (Scopa) chair­per­son Themba Godi said.

He said Mag­waza on Sun­day told him about the death threats he had re­ceived for his work in end­ing the South Africa So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency’s (Sassa) con­tract with so­cial grants dis­trib­u­tor Cash Pay­mas­ter Ser­vices (CPS).

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

He re­cently can­celled the con­tracts of the so­called “work streams” that Dlamini put in place three years ago.

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

“The fate of 17 mil­lion vul­ner­a­ble and poor South Africans is at stake. This is an at­tack and sab­o­tage of na­tional in­ter­est for the ben­e­fit of an im­moral and par­a­sitic clique.”

Godi said Dlamini had to put gov­ern­ment in­ter­ests above per­sonal con­sid­er­a­tions. He said Mag­waza was right to ter­mi­nate her “il­le­gally-ap­pointed work streams”, which were work­ing par­al­lel to Sassa’s le­gal man­age­ment.

Trea­sury had de­clared their ap­point­ment ir­reg­u­lar. The work streams had re­port­edly cost over R40 mil­lion since their cre­ation.

“Gov­ern­ment must demon­strate se­ri­ous­ness about good gov­er­nance and the fight against cor­rup­tion. We can­not have man­agers forced out or sus­pended in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate cor­rup­tion.”

Godi con­demned what he con­sid­ered an or­ches­trated cam­paign to re­move ac­count­ing of­fi­cers who clashed with their po­lit­i­cal prin­ci­pals.

Two di­rec­tors­gen­eral, of the de­part­ments of Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion, and Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries, were sus­pended last week for re­port­edly dis­agree­ing with their po­lit­i­cal prin­ci­pals.

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

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