Sassa and Ntlemeza court rulings highlight ‘incompetence‚ malfeasance’ in government: Corruption Watch
The judiciary’s decisions on Friday underline the incompetence and malfeasance of key sections of South Africa’s executive branch‚ and of the legislative branch for failing to hold the executive to account.
This is the view of Corruption Watch regarding the Constitutional Court’s judgment regarding payment of social grants by the South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and that of the North Gauteng High Court‚ which set aside the appointment of the head of the Hawks‚ Berning Ntlemeza.
The organisation was a friend of the court in Black Sash’s case against the Minister of Social Development and Sassa.
David Lewis‚ executive director of Corruption Watch‚ said: “This has been a good day at the office. The Constitutional Court has not only crafted a solution to the immediate crisis confronting our social grants programme‚ but it has also signalled its determination to hold personally accountable those responsible for the social grants crisis.”
The North Gauteng High Court slammed Police Minister Nathi Nhleko for “completely ignoring and brushing aside” two court judgments that found Ntlemeza lacked integrity and honesty when he appointed him head of the Hawks.
The Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law brought the case to the high court.
“The high court’s decision regarding Ntlemeza is a victory for the preservation of our democracy when a person so manifestly unsuitable to hold such a high profile position in what is perhaps the premier anti-corruption law enforcement unit is deemed unfit to carry out the tasks of that office‚” said Corruption Watch.
“This is especially true when considering the significant impact of the work of the Hawks on the lives of ordinary people.”
Lewis said the two cases confirmed the critical role of an independent judiciary.
In a further development on Friday‚ Allan Gray‚ one of the largest shareholders in CPS holding company Net1‚ said it is considering taking action against the board of Net1.