NEWS

They May Have Already Appointed A New Sassa CEO, But Social Development Is Adamant Magwaza Wasn't Fired

"I didn't resign but my contract was terminated," the former CEO told Moneyweb.

19/07/2017 16:47 SAST | Updated 19/07/2017 16:47 SAST
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA via Getty Images

The Social Development department says it stands by its statement that Thokozani Magwaza's exit as CEO from the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) was through a mutual agreement between him and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

The minister's spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said on Wednesday nothing has changed since Monday, when the statement was issued.

This was despite a report by Moneyweb on Monday where Magwaza said he was fired.

"I didn't resign but my contract was terminated. They [the department] are the people who know everything. I'll tell you everything but I'm not ready to talk," he reportedly said.

Magwaza was not available for comment on Wednesday.

While working at the state-owned company, Magwaza was at the forefront of pushing to get the Post Office as one of the outlets to pay out social grants. However, Bathabile Dlamini has tried to convince Parliament to spend R6 billion to make sure Sassa takes full control of the grants payment system. When asked by opposition parties how the money would be used, Dlamini failed to give a comprehensive explanation.

Magwaza was due to testify against Dlamini in a public inquiry about her role in the Sassa pension payment debacle. Affidavits with counter allegations between Dlamini her ex-director general, Zane Dangor, and Magwaza were due to be the centre of further investigations ordered by the Constitutional Court to determine whether Dlamini should be personally liable for the social grants payment debacle.

Interim CEO appointed

Meanwhile, Dlamini met with Sassa staff to announce the appointment of Pearl Bhengu as the Interim CEO on Wednesday.

Dlamini stated that the priority of the acting CEO would be to stabilise the state entity and ensure that there is a focus on the constitutional mandate of administering and paying social grants in line with the Sassa Act.

Bhengu has been serving as Regional Manager in KwaZulu-Natal since 2012.