CAPE TOWN – National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise placed Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana on special leave, effective from Friday.
It comes after Parliament’s branch of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) demanded an independent probe of Mgidlana, whom they accuse of corruption and maladministration.
Last weekend Mgidlana released a statement in which he accused the union of character assassination, saying the union’s claims that he erroneously awarded himself a bursary and a bonus of R70,000 were “misleading and disingenuous”.
Nehawu, which is currently engaged in a dispute with Mgidlana and senior management over 2017 salary increases, hit back on Tuesday.
The union said it would provide documentary proof of Mgidlana’s transgressions.
“The Secretary to Parliament wrote to the Presiding Officers on 29 May 2017, requesting to be placed on special leave while allegations levelled against him by Nehawu are investigated,” Parliament said in a statement.
“Recently, the Presiding Officers referred several allegations regarding administrative irregularities against the Secretary to Parliament to an independent Audit Committee of Parliament for investigation. The independent Audit Committee, comprised of external individuals in line with provisions of the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, is expected to probe the allegations with the necessary swiftness and to report back to the Presiding Officers,” the statement read.
“The Presiding Officers wish to state that, consistent with the principles of natural justice, the Secretary to Parliament remains innocent until proven otherwise.”
Parliament has urged all parties to cooperate with the Audit Committee process, which it hopes will “scrutinise these allegations and put the matter to rest.”
In Mgidlana’s absence, the Presiding Officers will appoint one of the two deputy Secretaries to Parliament as acting Secretary.
– Additional reporting African News Agency
— Parliament of RSA (@ParliamentofRSA) June 9, 2017