Disciplinary panel: Fire Dingani

2012-09-06 20:59
Parliament

Parliament

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Cape Town - A disciplinary panel has recommended that Secretary to Parliament Zingile Dingani be fired with immediate effect, Deputy Speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo said on Thursday.common practice

She said the panel had found Dingani guilty on two of nine charges of misconduct, relating to a R180 000 salary advance he secured from Parliament.

"The chairperson found the secretary guilty of two charges of misconduct," Mfeketo told reporters shortly after Dingane was informed of the findings in writing.

"This morning [Thursday], we received the findings, which is that the secretary must be dismissed with immediate effect."

Mfeketo said the first and most serious charge related to Dingani manipulating the speaker of the National Assembly and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) into authorising the advance.

Dingani convinced the speaker and the chairperson that a salary advance was his only hope, after he ran out of money while building a wall around his house.

Common practice

He also persuaded them that salary advances were common practice in Parliament, contrary to the fact that there was a directive in 2009 that made it plain these were not allowed, she said.

"The secretary to Parliament had led evidence that he had developed a funding gap while building a wall at his residence," she said.

She noted that he also contravened the PFMA by securing an interest-free advance, as the law stated that interest must be charged on all loans granted by Parliament.

Mfeketo said Dingani had repaid the money advanced to him in full, but had not paid interest.

The other seven charges related to smaller, procedural matters.

Mfeketo said the executive authority, the speaker and the NCOP chair, were applying their minds to the recommendation. However, it was not up to them to take action, but to the National Assembly, which appointed Dingani.

The executive was likely to put the matter to the floor on Tuesday.

Contest

Mfeketo said she had received no indication whether Dingani intended to contest the findings.

ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga welcomed the conclusion of the disciplinary process.

Auditor General Terence Nombembe recommended earlier this year that Parliament institute disciplinary processes against Dingani and the then chief finance officer Leslie Mondo for their involvement in the approval of the advance to Dingani.

Mondo was recently dismissed after being found guilty on a number of charges.

Motshekga confirmed that the presiding officers would table their recommendation in the assembly on Tuesday.

The house would then make a decision in this regard.

"This sends a strong message that Parliament, as an institution that makes laws and holds others accountable, does not tolerate unlawful acts within its ranks," he said.

The recommendation to dismiss Dingani was also welcomed by Democratic Alliance chief whip Watty Watson.

"The DA believes that Parliament should set an example in how it deals with the misappropriation of public funds."

The DA would therefore fully support the "recommendation that Mr Dingani be immediately dismissed" when the question was put to the House on September 11, he said.

- SAPA

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