Johannesburg – Bathabile Dlamini’s lawyer has pleaded for leniency when sentencing former social development minister, saying that she was a pensioner who had financial dependents.
Magistrate Betty Khumalo found that Dlamini knowingly gave false evidence during a 2017 inquiry into the Sassa grants debacle and that the State had proven this beyond reasonable doubt during trial.
Dlamini was found guilty of perjury and is out on a warning until her return to the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court for sentencing next month.
In his mitigating argument, Advocate Tshepiso Mphahlane said that his client earned R40,000 from her previous role as a member of Parliament and received R70,000 as ANC Women’s League president, adding that her five-year term in that post was about to end.
Mphahlane has asked the court not to send Dlamini to prison, saying that she was a single mother who paid her daughter’s tuition and supported her elderly parents from the income she received.
The State has, however, called for a harsh sentence, saying that it should send a message to public servants to uphold the rule of law and be exemplary.