News24

'No resigning to escape charges'

2010-02-24 13:31

Cape Town - Public servants facing charges should not be allowed to resign to escape disciplinary hearings, Parliament's public accounts watchdog committee (Scopa) insisted on Wednesday.

Resignations by public servants facing charges should be declined and only accepted when disciplinary proceedings were concluded, committee chairperson Themba Godi said.

Thus, the committee supported and appreciated the groundbreaking stand taken by Social Development Minister Edna Molewa in refusing SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) CEO Fezile Makiwane's resignation at a time when he was facing charges of a R11m tender irregularity.

"The practice in the civil service all along has been that when senior officials faced charges, they simply resign and it all ends there.

"We have always wondered why were there no mechanisms to stop people from resigning when facing disciplinary charges," Godi said.

No 24-hour resignation

All public service employees should serve a notice of one month before resigning. There should be no "24-hour resignation".

The committee also applauded the move by Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to change the department's current housing policy.

Housing in the department had been a problem for some time, with officials who received a housing subsidy getting accommodation at no cost to themselves, resulting in what had been termed "double-dipping".

"We support the move by the minister to change the current housing arrangement because it responds to longstanding calls by Scopa that government was not economical."

Godi said he was surprised by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union's (Popcru) reaction to the decision.

"Popcru doesn't seem interested in seeing government saving money. They seem to have sunk to 'yellow trade unionism'," he said.