Court finds ex-social development minister Dlamini guilty of perjury

Magistrate Betty Khumalo delivered her judgment, saying the state had succeeded in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the former minister had lied under oath during proceedings to investigate the Sassa grants debacle.

Former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini at Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Photo: Masechaba Sefularo/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG – The Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday found former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini guilty of perjury.

Magistrate Betty Khumalo delivered her judgment, saying the state succeeded in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the former minister lied under oath during proceedings to investigate the Agency’s grant debacle South African Social Security (Sassa).

Sentencing is expected to continue after a lunch adjournment.

Dlamini previously pleaded not guilty to the charge and denied giving false information to the inquest, saying if she did, it was unintentional.

She denied appointing parallel work streams to the agency and that they reported to her.

The investigation revealed that she had covered up the extent of her involvement in the debacle and she was charged with perjury after the top court handed over the investigation report to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Magistrates Khumalo said: “It is the view of this court that the defense is just grabbing at straws here and playing with semantics. The Court is therefore of the opinion that the argument is unfounded since all the evidence indicates that the Minister had at least two to three meetings with the shipyards, which would mean meetings with or with shipyards. I am therefore satisfied that the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a case against the accused on the main count. The accused is therefore found guilty on the count relating to the principal count of perjury. »

Joel C. Hicks