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Accountability monitor: Bathabile coughs up

Remember the drama over the dodgy contractor in charge of our social grants in 2018? If you don’t, no worries – so many scandals, so little time! Then Minister of Social Development and ANC Women’s League President Bathabile Dlamini was ordered to personally pay 20% of the legal costs of Black Sash and Freedom Under Law, who successfully dragged her to court over the entire fiasco. Naturally, Dlamini did no such thing, pleading poverty. 

Now she’s finally paid the R65000 owed to the organisations. 

The landmark judgement was the first of its kind that held leaders personally accountable for wrongdoing, and it created a welcome precedent. Since then, judges have repeatedly made personal cost orders against government leaders acting recklessly. It’s important because otherwise, we as taxpayers are essentially footing the bill when they lose cases and have to pay the other party’s costs.  

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 15 April 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates