Sassa CEO resigns after suffering threats that outraged MPs
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.”