Message to DG: ‘Shut up…or else’

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The break-in at Dangor’s house on Monday was only a few days after the Constitutional Court ruled on the social grants payments crisis, which threatened the continued payment of about 17million grants on April 1.

Dangor quit the department days before the case was to be heard and as tension over the crisis flared in the department.

“That’s the message I take from it: I must shut up. It has to be linked to our work,” he said yesterday.

The Dangor break-in was also a few days after the burglary at the office of the chief justice in Midrand, Johannesburg. Fifteen computers on which personal information about all South Africa’s judges was stored were taken from the human resources department.

The police are to hold a press conference today on the progress of their investigations.

Speaking to The Times from his home yesterday, Dangor said the burglary was “intimidation”.

“I don’t want to jump the gun but these guys had enough time to steal valuables in the house. My TV was unplugged. I was going to take it for repairs. They could have taken it.”

It has emerged that a vehicle used in the break-in at Dangor’s house might have been used in an attempt to gain access to the home of SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Thokozani Magwaza on Monday.

“Combine that with what happened at Magwaza’s house – I feel it is an act of intimidation,” Dangor said.

“I would have been comfortable if they had stolen some stuff. When you go through the rooms and take nothing, my gut feeling says it’s intimidation. And when I spoke to Magwaza and he told me about what happened at his house, that freaked me out.

“There were two cars outside my house. One of them was the same colour as the car that was outside Magwaza’s house.

“We can’t say if it’s the same car, but it’s quite coincidental.”

Several attempts to reach Magwaza were unsuccessful.

Dangor said he was planning to improve security at his home.

His son and daughter were present when the break-in occurred.

He said they were still shaken, even after trauma counselling.

“They did not sleep at home last night.”

The men went into Dangor’s house pretending they were there to do repairs. They overpowered a helper and broke the security gate to gain entry.

Dangor resigned as director-general after what he said was a “breakdown” in his relationship with Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini because of disagreements about Sassa’s legal obligations to the Constitutional Court.

His resignation followed the sidelining of Magwaza, whom Dlamini in her affidavit to the Constitutional Court said should be blamed for aspects of the social grants crisis.

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