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Bathabile Dlamini's letter of resignation

Former minister defends her record in CPS matter, says some have mastered art of demonisation

AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS CHIEF ALBERT LUTHULI HOUSE 54 SAUER STREET JOHANNESBURG

2019 JUNE 10-

Comrade Ace Magashule The Secretary General African National Congress- Dear Comrade Secretary General.-

RE: Resignation as an ANC Representative in the National Assembly-

Kindly be informed that I am resigning as representative of the African National Congress in the National Assembly of the Republic of South Africa with immediate effect.-

Allow me to take this opportunity and thank the organization of the people, the African National Congress for allowing me an opportunity to serve the nation.-

My heart goes to the past and present leadership of the African National Congress Women's League in particular for allowing me to serve with them and passed the knowledge and information of what serving the people is all about. My leaders have always instilled resilience in us through high levels of perseverance and patience.-

Serving the people of South Africa, the African National Congress and the African National Congress Women's League is a wish of any young South African. It's the greatest part of a life of all those that never had any home of all those who participated in mass struggles, in the student movement as well as underground structures of the movement but never blew their horn about their participation in the struggle.

Many of us have compromised the families through participating in the struggle for the liberation of the people of South Africa. We did not give our families an offer to choose organization of the choice, but our choices made them part of the struggle.-

I have reflected a lot on my past and this has assisted me to start from where things started. My family that lost its property and had to move from place to place in order to ensure that they were safe. I have to apologies to my mother who is now 84 years old, my father who is 86 years old today, my siblings as well as my extended family.-

I am humbled by the fearless, honest, fortunate, resilient Women's League leaders who have shown us that to be able to fight discrimination against Women, one needs to have a heart of steel and endurance. This has prepared us to sharpen and deepen our understanding of patriarchy. This is the right time to ask important questions about the willingness of our organization the African National Congress to fight patriarchy as a leader of the Society.-

Our 54th congress has taught us many lessons.

- The first lesson is that, the African National Congress is not ready to be led by women.

- The second lesson is that some amongst us do not understand the wealth that women's organizations bring and contribute to a political party whether right wing or left wing organizations.

Some do not even understand a call made by the organizations they created to fight the women's that are fundamental to the survival of the African National Congress. The emergence of organizations have pronounced that women's issues, e.g. Violence, culture are apolitical will kill the Women's League.-

If members of the African National Congress Women's League want a strong women's organization, they must not pay up service but must implement the discussions of the African National Congress must change quality of issues of women without fear or favor, the lives of women must change quantitatively.-

I have also learnt that many behaviors are creeping into the African National Congress and we have not been addressing them. The African National Congress has its culture and processes that are not written in the book but have been an established process. What we see today in the African National Congress is foreign and no one is prepared to stop these.

The conferences that took place leading to the leading to National Conference leave much to be desired but the most shocking of all was judgments that were handed down just before the conference and they were accepted.-

Some Provinces took the African National Congress to court and nothing happened and when some took the African National Congress to court, a lot of noise was made. This has put the organization into disrepute but because we were all going to Conference these were not looked into. The African National Congress has never attended a conference under such a cloud. These are issues that have never been discussed more particularly because they include the judiciary which has itself complained about its overreach through the Chief Justice.-

One other challenge we have is that of those that think they own the President and the Secretary General. The very same people that complained about this during the past leadership are repeating this and I am not sure whether they think this is good when it is done by them.-

It is also worrisome that these are members in the NEC that have fought all the Presidents, from President Nelson Mandela, President Thabo Mbeki and President Jacob Zuma. I am waiting to see what they are planning for the present leadership.-

One of the ways leaders must treat those they serve with, is to have two ears and treat members equally. Given the influence of the media nowadays and how it has been used to destroy some of us. The African National Congress has the responsibility of giving all of us a hearing, more particularly those that serve in the executive. This is very important because amongst us there are those that have exonerated themselves and have made themselves look clean when that has not been proven.-

Some of us have been to the Integrity Commission to answer on media reports when we had accounted to Parliament Inter-Ministerial Committee, Select Committee on public accounts as well as Courts. ASSA had to push us through all the courts because they thought they deserved the tender. No one has ever spoken about the fact that President Zuma sent a delegation to Pietermaritzburg cause I have lost my brother and I could not come to Pretoria.-

He sent one of his advisors to tell me to cancel the CPS tender and DG Vusi Madonsela, Zane Dangor and Virginia Peterson recommended that this should not be done. They also informed us that even the previous tender was won by CPS.

What is also important to me here, is that I never arrived with CPS to the department. I found them there already doing the work with the Department, but when people speak one hears nuisances that I says I had something to do with CPS. Those that made profit through CPS through by their wives are known, but because they are well respected by the organization. Nothing has been said to them. I have been made a scape goat and an easy target.-

I have gone through the Constitutional Court Judgment on CPS and not once was I proven to be corrupt and this does not excite me. My experience with Judge Ngoepe funding's based on the evidence I gave was disputed. The truth is that, in that environment things were adversarial other parties like the freedom under law, Black Sash. Their approach was very aggressive and I had to be defensive. This did not come across well with the Judge coupled with lack of understanding of my language.-

The Constitutional Court made the court order on the bases that they viewed work streams as a parallel process which reported to me directly. SASSA never presented anything that was parallel to the work streams. There was nothing proven to court as parallel. The truth of the matter is that we needed specialists given the critical nature of SASSA.-

Minutes of the joint meetings were tabled to court about the work streams. To be honest I did not see that as critically important because I was under pressure but also I reported to the Portfolio Committee and the IMC about this matter of work streams. Actually, the Post Office and the work streams made a presentation to the IMC but the Post Office Officials did not have a report. The whole IMC was excited about the report and even agreed that SASSA had a vision. In the report of the work streams the Post Office had a role.-

Due to that, the Portfolio Committee demanded that President Zuma report to them. Minister Radebe had to chair the committee. What happened when Minister Jeff Radebe took over is a story for another day.-

He started taking over the role of the Minister of Social Development and no one raised the matter with him and I kept quiet. The whole process took another turn. There was a need for CSIR to do due diligence at the Post Office and because of the environment, everyone said the Post Office was ready. There was a push for signing the agreement between SASSA and the Post Office.

The Judgment did not suggest that I was corrupt, but I know that it is dragged so that at the end of the day it is pronounced that I was corrupt when in a number of times I took CPS to court. During this process, Treasury created its own problems and confusion. They delayed the approval of starting with the process of implementation of the work streams.-

What is also shocking in this whole saga, is that in the IMC some of my former colleagues suggested that the Post Office should pay grants when they knew the Post Office did not have the capacity to pay grants.-

What they did was actually treason. They knew that the post office was not going to succeed and people will automatically go to banks. Actually the first time I communicated with Minister Pravin Gordan; he suggested that we should call everyone to go and register with banks and it became clear to me that he worked with banks. When SASSA had a meeting with banks under the leadership of Dr Caovadia, it became very clear that Banks wanted the payments when they were not ready with biometrics.-

It is important for the leadership to give a hearing to its employees when there are problems. When we were deep in SASSA problems, no one asked why the then CEO Mr Thokozani Magwaza signed the affidavit to court when there was an Acting CEO. When the Acting CEO Thamo Mzobe was admitted to hospital I became a joke. I got a relief because she told one of the nurses to inform Ndileka Ngambu who visited Thamo Mzobe in hospital told me that Ms. Mzobe was instructed by Mr. Shezi to get sick on the day we had to brief the officials about SASSA matter. Mr. Shezi told her that I was taking government officials to the ANC top officials so as to force them to sign off and extend the contract with SASSA.-

No one has asked the question of a long leave taken by the then CEO who came back immediately after Dr Magasela was appointed as the Acting CEO. I had to share the affidavit with Mr. Shezi and Dr Magasela. The Special Advisors and Mr. Shezi kept on postponing our meeting to finalise the affidavit because he shared the affidavit with the then CEO and put their lives in to danger. This we found out when the CEO asked Ms Ndlovu who is a Senior Official was asked about what she contributed to the affidavit. The then CEO told her that she has a family and he was not going to lose his job because of her. This was because Ms Ndlovu had given facts to the developments at SASSA.-

In consolidating SASSA, we had registered grant recipients, procurators and the system was cleaned up. All beneficiaries were biometrically registered and that helped to eliminate more than 600000 beneficiaries which saved R2 billion rand on the fiscus.

The introduction meant beneficiaries had a choice using a pin or biometrics at the pay points or retailers. Some retailers like Checkers, Boxer, Pick n Pay, etc were assisted to install biometric for those who could not remember the pin numbers. Through this process it was not easy for anyone to use more than one card to beneficiaries. It was easy to identify ghost beneficiaries.-

The ANG and the Cabinet had instructed us to increase the footprint of SASSA so as to ensure that the pay points were 5 kilometers as per prescripts of the UN. We had increased the pay points to +9000 and this was not only about paying pensions. It provided older persons to meet with their friends and form their committees easily. It assisted them to plan for Golden Games that are about active aging. Older Persons were forced to walk around, play soccer, and be part of choirs and all other activities. These have been reduced and they were very safe.-

There were few cash in transit robberies in SASSA because of the planning and agreement that was made with the service provider. Money was readily available on the 1st day of the payment cycle in all pay channels which included banks, merchants and pay points.-

The beneficiaries using SASSA Cards were transacting free except when service provider started issuing its cards and gave loans to beneficiaries which made them stay indebted and they were not able to sustain their families. We had to report the matter to the police and a case was opened on the matter.-

Biometrics assisted us to pay the right people at the right place and at the right time. The transactions were at no cost for beneficiaries. SASSA only paid a flat rate of R16.44 today charges are R51.00 at pay points, R23.00 at Post Office and R13.00 at ATMs per transaction. This was over and above that the Post Office was given an advance of R514 million. The flat rate was part of the negotiations and the agreement.-

We must always endeavor to improve the access to services to our people since this is a right and not a privilege. This is not what some of my colleagues think, they think it is a privilege.-

Forcing beneficiaries to get their grants from town is a nightmare because they are told at the pay point that they will not be paid and are not even given the date of the availability of grants. Cash in transit was sporadic but today cash in transit has gone up including break-ins at different Post Offices.

There are beneficiaries that have not received their money for more than a month when the re-imbursement for the beneficiaries used to happen as quickly as possible. What is also strange is that there are beneficiaries that could not pick up their Post Office cards but grants have been paid to some of these people.-

It has been said that Home Affairs has biometrics, we had juxtapose our biometrics to biometrics of those that applied for grants and there are those that were rejected by the system because they did not qualify.-

We must be all worried about the expediency that has been done within the aim of discrediting some of us. I hold not grudge for being reshuffled and not being appointed. What disturbed me gravely is that the legend that has been used is that there is a lot of noise around me. I strongly believe that this was engineered somewhere because I was very naive about taking grant payments to a local level. I was naive when I thought that even groceries had to be bought from a local level so as to ensure that grant money circulated for some time in communities. This was going to be a value chain that would start from the smallholder farmers.-

There was a big plan that was going to inject the economy of the country and create jobs for many but unfortunately the leadership was not ready to listen. The fact that we were able to pay grants on the 1st of April was not taken into consideration.-

I am convinced that our country is far from developing or improving because there are those amongst us that have the support of the media, that have mastered the art of demonizing some of us and unfortunately they are seen as very committed, clean and innocent when they have shares in some of those institutions.

The question that took me by surprise was why beneficiaries would be forced to buy from where they stay. Presently we are all quite because we are afraid of asking relevant questions. We are afraid of talking about a system that had been taken to another level and was destroying those that behave as if they are defending the country when they are defending monopoly capital.-

The Post Office was in the plan of streams and it was going to assist the Post Office to grow gradually but as long as we pretend that there is progress in the Post office and not creating an environment that is conducive. Our frail grant beneficiaries will suffer because of the long distances and small businesses around the pay points that had been regulated have surely collapsed and more people will join the grants as beneficiaries and put more pressure on the fiscus.

Yours Faithfully,

Signed

Bathabile Dlamini

10-06-2019

Thanking you in anticipation-