ConCourt can't force Dlamini to pay legal costs of Sassa saga, lawyers argue

Former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini does not want to personally cough up for the social grants payment saga.

Last year, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) failed to meet a court deadline regarding social grant payments.

Also read: Sassa CEO: 'The situation is bad...but I don't want alarm you'

Dlamini's lawyers argue that a court holding her personally liable for legal costs in cases linked to the Sassa debacle is not Constitutional.

Her lawyers say that the Constitutional Court has no authority to impose a cost order against her. They say it is Parliament's job to hold members of the Executive accountable.

Read more: 'ConCourt is essentially being blackmailed by Sassa'

In a report released following the Sassa inquiry, retired Judge Bernard Ngoepe did not make recommendations about whether Dlamini should personally pay.

Law consultant Ben Winks explains the flaws in the argument made by Dlamini's lawyers.

There is a foundation for saying what Dlamini's representatives have said... but they take it too far.

Ben Winks, Constitutional law expert

According to the separation of powers, the performance of Constitutional and statutory obligations by the Executive must be dealt with by Parliament.

Ben Winks, Constitutional law expert

It's one thing to talk about her responsibility as a minister, but it's another to talk about her responsibility as a litigant.

Ben Winks, Constitutional law expert

The court is well within its right to punish or hold accountable any litigant who abuses the court processses in some way.

Ben Winks, Constitutional law expert

Take a listen to his expert legal opinion:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : ConCourt can't force Dlamini to pay legal costs of Sassa saga, lawyers argue


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