Bathabile Dlamini found GUILTY of perjury – and she may face jail time

Chickens have come home to roost for ANC Women’s League President Bathabile Dlamini, after she was found guilty of perjury earlier on Wednesday. The former minister, who now been convicted of lying under oath while giving evidence at the SASSA hearings in 2017, now faces an outside chance of going to jail.



BATHABILE DLAMINI FOUND GUILTY OF PERJURY

Under Dlamini’s tenure, SASSA was left in a truly sorry state. By time she exited her role, the agency was barely functioning. The legacy of damage left by the controversial figure is still being felt today.

While giving evidence to the court about her own role in SASSA’s near-collapse, the senior politician routinely misled the inquiry. Her defence in this trial was that the SASSA hearings were not ‘formal judicial proceedings’, and therefore, she could not be punished for her alleged wrongdoings.



Magistrate Betty Khumalo has seen things differently, however. She agreed with the state, which was able to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt. So, what will this mean come sentencing time for Bathabile Dlamini?

THE CONSEQUENCES OF PERJURY IN SOUTH AFRICA

Perjury *can* be punishable by a fixed term in prison, a fine, or even both.  However, as legal expert Sam Lee-Jacobs confirms, ‘no specific criteria on remedial action exists’ – and will only be decided by a judge in a court of law.



Lawyers Online also state that probation is a possible third punishment, and the strictest penalty can be a maximum of five years behind bars. All eyes will now turn to Bathabile Dlamini’s upcoming sentencing.

“Penalties for the crime of perjury can result in a prison sentence of up to five years, or a hefty fine or probation, and it is therefore never advised to make any false statements that hinder any judicial proceedings since this is a very serious offence. This, of course, does not include false statements made with honest intention.” Lawyers Online

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