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SOUTH AFRICA: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to account for R1 billion

Members of Parliament (MPs) want answers and heads to roll for more than R1 billion in irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, along with Sassa’s CEO and other officials, were grilled by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) about their finances.

One of the items identified by the Auditor-General was R414 million spent on personal security, which includes protection for Dlamini and her children.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Veronica Mente says this is suspicious.

“Why did you accept security from the department knowing they would incur costs to protect your children, who were supposed to be protected by SAPS? That means we must hold you responsible and you have to refund the money.”

Dlamini explained some of the decisions that led to the irregular expenditure.

“Virginia [Petersen, former Sassa CEO] was still there and motivated why she had to pay this amount of money.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party Mkhuleko Hlengwa’s says former Sassa boss Virginia Petersen should be called to account.

The agency has revealed it has more than 460 cases of irregular expenditure in the 2016/17 financial, with just over 200 still under investigation.

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