Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza resigns

Johannesburg - Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini on Monday confirmed that SA Social Security Agency CEO Thokozani Magwaza has resigned.

Dlamini said this was done after a "consultative process" led by the head of legal services Advocate Nkosinathi Dladla.

"The department would like to thank Mr Magwaza for the role he played as the CEO of Sassa and wish him well in his future endeavours."

Magwaza was not immediately available to comment.

He was in a meeting with executives when News24 tried to reach him.

READ: We don't know how Dlamini got her R6bn figure - Sassa CEO

Drama

Magwaza's tenure at the agency was not one without drama.

His relationship with Dlamini deteriorated as soon as news surfaced that millions of South Africans were at risk of not receiving their social grants on April 1, 2017.

In 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that the contract with social grant distributor, CPS, was illegal and invalid.

After a long court battle, in May 2017, the Constitutional Court ordered Sassa and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to continue paying social grants until another entity which can do so is found.

The declaration of the invalidity of the previous contract between the SA Social Security Agency and CPS was be suspended for 12 months, Justice Johan Froneman was quoted as having said at the time.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini had until March 31 to show why she should not be joined to the proceedings in her personal capacity, and why she should not pay the costs of the application from her own pocket.

In June, the Constitutional Court ordered that there be further investigation into whether Dlamini should be held personally liable for the social grants matter.

Dlamini, Sassa and former DG Zane Dangor were given 14 days to meet and report back to the court on whether they agreed on a process in terms of section 38 of the Superior Court Act 10 of 2013, in order to determine the issues relating to Dlamini's responsibility in the establishment and functioning of the work streams referred to in the affidavits filed by Dlamini.

READ: Scopa condemns death threats against Sassa CEO

Mudslinging

Mudslinging began when both parties pointed fingers at each other for the saga.

Magwaza has reportedly bowed out of the position following alleged death threats.

News24 reported earlier that the Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) chairperson Themba Godi said: "As Scopa, we are shocked and angry at what is evidently brazen lawlessness by a criminal gang of rent seekers who want to intimidate Mr Magwaza out of his job, so they can frustrate the Sassa-Sapo contract and instead open the door for the looting of public funds."

Dangor resigned from the department in March, citing a breakdown in the relationship between himself and Dlamini. This was due to their disagreement about Sassa's legal obligations to the Constitutional Court.

Dangor's home was ransacked a week later. Nothing was taken, leading to suspicions that it was an attempt at intimidation.
 
According to a statement released on June 10, 2016, when Dlamini welcomed Magwaza into his new post, he joined the department of social development in 2013 to serve as a deputy director-general in comprehensive social security.

In April 2015, he was promoted to acting director general of the department.

Dlamini at the time said: "I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and wish Mr Magwaza on his appointment as the new CEO of Sassa. We are confident that he will continue contributing positively to the social development family."

Prior to working for the department, he served as CEO of Medical Solutions, CEO of Special Pensions and acting CEO at the Road Accident Fund, among other leadership roles.

He attended the University of Port Elizabeth where he obtained a master's degree in politics and political economy.

He also attended the University of Zululand where he received his Bachelor of Arts in public administration.