The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) on Thursday noted that ruling in the perjury case against its president Bathabile Dlamini and said it could comment further.
The Johannesburg Magistrates court on Wednesday found the former social development minister guilty of lying under oath during the inquiry into the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grant scandal.
This has reignited the debate around her fate as the league’s president as the ANC’s step aside rule dictates that all party members accused of crime should step down from office.
In a statement issued by secretary-general Meokgo Matuba, the ANCWL said it was not in a position to communicate anything on its leader’s guilty verdict.
Magistrate Betty Khumalo found Dlamini knowingly gave false evidence at the Sassa grants inquiry when she denied she had appointed parallel workstreams at the agency and that they had reported to her instead of exco.
While the women’s league said it was now studying the judgment, Dlamini’s supporter and ANC member Tony Yengeni – who was in court alongside Supra Mahumapelo, Ace Magashule, Des van Rooyen and Carl Niehaus on Wednesday – said they were disappointed by the outcome.
“You can see it [the disappointment] in our faces as comrades and friends of comrade Bathabile. We’ll wait until the sentence is passed.”
It remains to be seen whether Dlamini, like the ANC’s suspended secretary general Magashule will be affected by the party’s step aside rule.
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