Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini says she welcomes the DA submitting allegations that she had an improper relationship with businessman Lunga Ncwana and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to the Public Protector.
The DA said it would ask for the claims published in the Sunday Times to form part of Busisiwe Mkhwebane's requested investigation into Dlamini's relationship with CPS.
"The link between Dlamini and Ncwana was reportedly revealed in a text message that Dlamini sent to the former director-general of Social Development, Zane Dangor, which reads: 'You and Sipho [Shezi] have been used by [Thokozani] Magwaza who is a friend to my former boyfriend who wanted to extort money from Lunga and could not'.
"The minister's connection to Ncwana is of grave concern, considering that Ncwana is a close friend of Brian Mosehla, who allegedly pocketed R83 million as CPS' BEE partner, due to corrupt dealings," DA Shadow Minister of Social Development Bridget Masango said in a statement.
Dlamini in a statement dismissed the article as "speculative reports disguised as an investigation", saying it didn't provide facts and evidence or quotes from people prepared to speak on the record.
"A proper investigation by the Public Protector would bring an end to the pseudo investigations by every other person who is not interested in the truth and the objectivity, fairness they should be guided by.
"The Constitutional Court has made its ruling, every social grant beneficiary was paid as has always been the case but it looks like those who are desperate and with the agenda to tarnish the Minister want to open the case afresh through the media," Dlamini said.
"The Hawks have already investigated the corruption claims and the matter was closed in November 2015. The case was also dismissed by the American law enforcement agencies but media houses choose to ignore these facts and want to continue with their defamatory reports."
Masango said the DA has long held that Dlamini purposefully manufactured the social grants crisis to ensure that the invalid contract with CPS would continue.
"The recent revelations could possibly reveal that this was done so that Dlamini and those close to her would benefit financially. Dlamini played political games with the livelihoods of millions of South Africans, yet she somehow survived the president's midnight cabinet reshuffle, whilst numerous other competent and effective ministers were removed," she said.Suggest a correction