If there must be unity and peace in the ANC Women’s League, then the league must ensure that enough T-shirts are readily made available for its supporters.
A video footage making the rounds on Wednesday drove home the idea that supporters must be catered for if they must act and support wisely and peacefully too.
In the video, the women who were in the Constitution Court to show support for its embattled leader Bathabile Dlamini were captured fighting over the party’s T-shirts.
Before the fight ensued, the women were earlier seen singing, dancing excitedly – as if nothing was at stake (if I must say). But the bitter truth is that the lives of over 17 million social grant beneficiaries are at stake.
Dlamini was due to appear in the Constitutional Court to explain a case brought by rights group Black Sash, aimed at clarifying what should happen with grant payments from April.
Sassa has failed in its undertakings to implement an in-house system or to find a new service provider in an open and competitive tender process.
There are growing fears 17-million grant payments to more than 11-million beneficiaries will not be made from April.
Reports having that there’s every tendency that no social grant payments will be given to more than 11-million South Africans on April 1 unless a deal is struck with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) by Wednesday.
This was announced by CPS CEO Serge Belamant late on Tuesday in papers filed in the Constitutional Court. The CPS affidavit was filed with the court only minutes after Dlamini defiantly accused opposition parties of manufacturing the crisis.
“From the outset, I would like to reiterate the assurance of the president of the Republic of SA‚ Mr. Jacob Zuma, that there is no crisis at Sassa. All eligible social grants beneficiaries will receive their money on 1 April and beyond,” she assured MPs in Parliament.
South African social grant payments are administered and distributed by Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), a subsidiary of US-based Net1 UEPS Technologies.
In 2014, the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) declared Sassa’s contract with CPS invalid after it emerged irregular tendering processes were followed in the awarding of the tender.
Earlier on Tuesday‚ Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan appeared before Parliament’s public accounts committee to clear the air about the payment.
The minister iterated that he was confident beneficiaries will be paid, adding that only three days will be needed to authorise payment.
Meanwhile, growing report from the court said that Freedom Under Law’s David Unterhalter told the Constitutional Court that should CPS continue to be used to distribute and pay Sassa grants in the interim, and that they should not be allowed to derive any benefit from performing their distribution obligations.
Watch: ANCWL fights over T-shirt