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Bathabile Dlamini's plea expected as perjury trial starts today

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Bathabile Dlamini's plea expected as perjury trial starts today

Former minister Bathabile Dlamini
Former minister Bathabile Dlamini

24th November 2021

By: News24Wire

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The trial against the former social development minister, Bathabile Dlamini, is set to begin in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Dlamini first appeared in court in September, facing a charge of perjury.

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According to the National Prosecuting Authority's regional spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane, Dlamini is expected to state her plea before the first witness is called.

The case relates to her testimony during an inquiry the Constitutional Court had instituted into her role in the 2017 social grants crisis.

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News24 reported in August that the Director of Public Prosecutions in Gauteng had decided to prosecute Dlamini for perjury, and that summons had been issued for her to appear in court on 21 September.

Judge Bernard Ngoepe chaired the inquiry into Dlamini's role in the social grants crisis.

The inquiry investigated whether Dlamini should be held personally liable for the costs of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) debacle.

The judge found that Dlamini had been evasive when questions were put to her during the inquiry, News24 reported.

In his report, Ngoepe stated that Dlamini would "unjustifiably answer with 'I don't know/remember' to important questions".

"She would simply not answer some of the questions. Instead of answering the questions, she told counsel to proceed to the next one.

She gave long answers, which did not speak to the question asked.

"... I simply could not understand why the minister was not properly answering such a simple question," Ngoepe said in an earlier report.

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