(Repeats to widen distribution)
JOHANNESBURG, March 17 Investment company Allan
Gray said on Friday its 16 percent stake in Net1
allowed it to call a shareholders' meeting over the payment
technology provider's handling of the scandal over a South
African welfare contract, local media reported.
"Sixteen percent allows us to call a shareholders' meeting,"
Allan Gray Chief Operating Officer Rob Dower told Talk Radio
Allan Gray could push for the removal of the Net1 board,
Chief Investment Officer Andrew Lapping was quoted in the
Business Day newspaper.
South Africa's Constitutional Court was set to rule on
Friday in a case concerning the unlawful tender of a contract to
Net1 unit Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to manage welfare
benefits to 17 million people.
The stakes are high as the welfare system is a lifeline for
South Africa's most vulnerable and includes more than 11 million
child support grants.
The chaos in South Africa's social security agency comes
three years after the Constitutional Court ruled that the tender
won by CPS was illegal.
The government was given time until April 1 to take
responsibility for social service payments or find a new
provider, but it has so far failed to do so.
Friday's looming judgment by the country's top court stems
from a case brought by applicants who want it to take oversight
of a new contract.
South African President Jacob Zuma said in parliament on
Thursday there was no "crisis". Earlier this week the country's
chief justice placed the blame for the debacle squarely on the
shoulders of Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini,
calling her inaction incomprehensible.
(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and