Political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga has described the Johannesburg Magistrates Court’s conviction of former Social Development Minister and ANC Women’s League President Bathabile Dlamini as a milestone in the South African justice system.
On Friday, the court sentenced Dlamini to four years in prison or a fine of R200,000 with half the sentence suspended.
The case concerns Dlamini’s testimony during an investigation that the Constitutional Court established into his role in the social benefits crisis in 2017.
The inquest investigated whether Dlamini should be held personally responsible for the costs of the South African Social Security Agency debacle.
In the report below, a perjury offense lands Dlamini with a 4-year sentence or a R200,000 fine:
She was convicted last month.
Mathekga says the court set a precedent that senior politicians are not above the law.
“It’s a very strong belief for politicians that something like this (is happening). We’ve never seen anything like this before. It sets a precedent for the conduct of those in the executive. People might compare it to others, but I think given that someone here is convicted of this crime, someone who had political cover for this and the court broke through this and said that we were going to condemn you, that’s a very, very strong statement.
Dlamini explains in the video below:
Furthermore, the People’s Congress (COPE) says it is disappointed with the sentencing of former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.
COPE spokesman Dennis Bloem said perjury is a serious crime.
“We expected her to be sentenced to prison without a fine. Perjury is a very serious offense and should be treated as such. Nevertheless, we accept the sentence. This once again gives hope that our courts are independent.