Parliament rubbishes claims senior staff snaffled plum bursaries

2017-02-19 14:40


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Parliament has dismissed media reports that senior officials awarded themselves study bursaries over junior staff applicants.

Responding to an article in the Sunday Times, parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo, in statement, dismissed the claims as "baseless rumours".

The Sunday Times reported that Gengezi Mgidlana, the secretary to Parliament had awarded himself a bursary to study for a master's degree after turning down 50 junior staffers' applications, claiming the legislature had run out of funds.

The paper also reported that Unathi Mtya, Parliament's new head of information technology, was granted a R1.1m bursary to study at Columbia University in New York for a postgraduate qualification.

‘Preference given to new applicants’

Mothapo said in 2016 Parliament invited staff members to apply for bursaries to study for this year through its allocated bursary budget of R1.5m.

"This has been the case annually. Out of a total of 155 funding requests received totalling R5.6m, which far exceeded the available R1.5m bursary budget, only 50 applications could be approved.

"While Parliament would have liked to assist each and every applicant, the reality is that no budget is bottomless. 

"To ensure fairness and equal opportunity for all staff members, preference was given to new applicants who have not previously benefited from the bursary fund and meet basic requirements. The requirements include the applicability/relevance of chosen courses to areas of responsibility and proof of admission by academic institutions," he said.

Mothapo said an "outrageously false claim" has been made that Mtya would be sent to Columbia University at a cost of R1.1m.

"When Ms Mtya was employed by Parliament in 2016 following a lengthy search for a suitably qualified person to fill the CIO position, she had already been accepted at the said university and her studies were to be sponsored under her previous employer’s employee bursary fund." 

"Since Parliament has similar scheme for its employees, one of the mutually agreed terms and conditions pertaining to her employment was that she would, like any employee of Parliament, benefit from the institution’s bursary fund.

"This sought to ensure that her plans to further her studies were not unduly prejudiced by her joining Parliament."

Bursary criteria ‘fair, transparent, non-discriminatory’

He said Parliament will only contribute an amount equivalent to the cost of a similar course locally, which is just over R200 000.
Mopthapo said the criteria for allocating bursaries to staff are fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. 

“In this regard, claims made to the contrary are based on nothing but malicious rumour intended to tarnish the standing of Parliament and those who lead it."

Read more on:    parliament 2017

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.



12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.