Suspend Mgidlana, or we will remove him - Parliament workers

2017-06-06 16:54
Gengezi Mgidlana. Picture: Parliament’s website

Gengezi Mgidlana. Picture: Parliament’s website

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Cape Town - Nehawu's Parliament branch wants Parliament secretary Gengezi Mgidlana to be suspended by the end of the week while a probe into his conduct takes place, or they will remove him.

National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) members in Parliament pleaded with presiding officers Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise to allow an internal audit into allegations against Mgidlana to be free of potential interference.

"We are saying no to special leave. Mgidlana should be suspended, no special preferential treatment. We are sick and tired," said branch chairperson Sthembiso Tembe on Tuesday.

"If they fail to do that, it should be our responsibility to go to our office and remove him, or prevent him from entering the office."

Members present vigorously applauded the call.

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Preferential treatment

An internal parliamentary audit is currently underway looking into allegations that Mgidlana had irregularly, among other things, hired management staff, awarded himself an education bursary and embarked on "wasteful" overseas trips.

The call also comes in the middle of a wage negotiation between Parliament and the union, after it was announced Parliament workers would receive a 0% salary increase this financial year.

Failure to suspend Mgidlana would lead them to the view that he was "untouchable", a "golden boy" and accorded preferential treatment.

The call was supported by the union's regional branch as well.

Nehawu was responding to a statement Mgidlana released on Sunday. He denied the allegations against him, saying no shred of evidence had been produced to back them up.

"Central to the union's malicious allegations is a claim that the current financial difficulty is caused by financial mismanagement and/or corruption. This is a deliberately misleading, baseless and unnecessary propagation of untruths," he said.

The financial management of Parliament was regularly checked by the multiparty joint standing committee on financial management of Parliament and annually by the Auditor-General, who granted the institution a clean audit in its last report.

Tembe accused Mgidlana of negotiating in bad faith.

"We cannot continue to engage in fruitless tea-drinking sessions which do not benefit the workers."

Newahu approached the Public Protector in 2016 over the allegations. It will call on Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane to escalate the investigation, and will be submitting more evidence of Mgidlana's alleged misconduct.

They welcomed Speaker Baleka Mbete's call in her budget debate speech last week that Parliament must work with Treasury to find money to cover an appropriate wage increase.

All political parties raised concerns about Parliament's finances during the debate.

Read more on:    parliament  |  nehawu  |  gengezi mgidlana  |  cape town  |  labour action

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