The Constitutional Court on Thursday ordered that an inquiry be established to set out the roles and responsibilities of social development minister Bathabile Dlamini.
In a unanimous judgment‚ the court found that it could not make an “adverse” order against the minister on the basis of allegations that have not been tested.
The court ordered that all parties involved in the matter appoint an individual to investigate Dlamini’s roles and responsibilities.
They are to report back to court within 14 days‚ the order says.
Thursday’s Constitutional Court decision follows an earlier ruling‚ which ordered Dlamini to explain why she should not be held personally liable for legal costs incurred from an earlier application around the social grants debacle.
In her affidavit‚ Dlamini said she should not be made to pay and detailed how she had discharged her duties as minister.
She blamed Sassa officials for the grants crisis‚ but the agency’s CEO Thokozani Magwazi and former director general Zane Dangor disputed her version of events.
The Black Sash Trust approached the court in March after the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) acknowledged it would not be able to pay millions of grants from April 1‚ despite promising the court in November 2015 it would do so.
The organisation wanted the court to resume its supervisory jurisdiction for the payment of social grants.
The court had in 2014 declared that the 2012 contract between Sassa and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) for the payment of grants was invalid.
However‚ the court extended the invalid contract to give Sassa time to open a new tender process for social grant payments.
The court discharged its supervisory role in November 2015 after Sassa informed the court it would not open a new tender and would undertake the payment of grants in-house.
But the department of social development and Sassa only informed the court in March this year that it would be unable to pay the grants in-house from April 1.