United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa's claim that Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini used a CPS-sponsored flight to attend a funeral in the Eastern Cape was "malicious", her office said on Tuesday.
It was a "rehashed part of a prevailing narrative perpetuated by the opposition to tarnish the reputation of the minister," her spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said.
Holomisa said during a debate in the National Assembly on March 14 that Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) paid for a chartered flight to take Dlamini to the funeral of Dumisani Mafu on July 22, 2016.
Oliphant said Dlamini was speaking at a World Population Day event at the George Botha Sports Complex in Port Elizabeth that day. The next day, she addressed pupils at her former school, Masijabulile High School in KwaSwayimani, Pietermaritzburg.
CPS was awarded the tender to distribute social grants. In 2014, the Constitutional Court declared the contract invalid and gave the department until March 31 this year to take over the payment of grants. It failed to do so by the deadline.
On March 17, the Constitutional Court extended the illegal contract for another 12 months, to give the department another chance to gets its house in order.