Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and Sassa chief executive Thokozani Magwaza

In the midst of a potential social grant crisis, the recently appointed chief executive of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) is facing suspension for allegedly defying Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Chief executive Thokozani Magwaza allegedly wrote to SA Post Office (Sapo) chief Mark Barnes requesting that the struggling parastatal take over the distribution of social grants when the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract expires next month. The Constitutional Court ruled in 2014 that the contract had been awarded irregularly.

Magwaza, who was appointed in June last year, allegedly tried to withdraw the letter when Dlamini became aware of it. The letter was allegedly sent after the deadline for the submission of bids. Sapo is a bidder.

A Sassa insider said Dlamini was so livid with Magwaza’s action that she did not include him in a delegation that met Pres. Zuma on Sunday. The meeting was apparently to brief Zuma on the grants payment debacle.