Acting Secretary to Parliament appointed

2017-06-10 12:53
Gengezi Mgidlana. Picture: Parliament’s website

Gengezi Mgidlana. Picture: Parliament’s website

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Cape Town - Penelope Tyawa has been appointed the acting Secretary to Parliament after Gengezi Mgidlana was "granted" special leave on Friday following a raft of corruption allegations against him.

The Presiding Officers appointed Tyawa, deputy secretary to Parliament, on Friday as acting secretary, said parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo in a statement on Saturday.

"The appointment is effective from Monday, June 12, until further notice," Mothapo said.

Mgidlana was granted special leave by Speaker Baleka Mbete and NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise.

"The Secretary to Parliament wrote to the Presiding Officers on May 29, requesting to be placed on special leave while allegations levelled against him by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) are investigated," Mbete said in a statement on Friday.

His leave was effective from Friday.


Mbete reiterated that they have referred several allegations regarding administrative irregularities against Mgidlana 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."

Mbete stressed that "consistent with the principles of natural justice, the Secretary to Parliament remains innocent until proven otherwise".

Mgidlana is accused of irregularly - among other things - hiring senior management staff amid a budget crunch, awarding himself an education bursary at the expense of junior staff, and embarking on "wasteful and unauthorised" overseas trips.

Nehawu's Parliament branch on Friday said Mgidlana being granted special leave while an investigation into his conduct gets underway was not enough.

"This is not what we requested. We request that he be suspended," branch chairperson Sthembiso Tembe told a meeting of members.

"As we speak, we don't even know the conditions of that special leave. I was told this morning that he will still have access to his emails and everything," said Tembe.

Wage negotiation

The union had on Tuesday called for Mgidlana's immediate suspension, and threatened to bar him from entering his office if he was not suspended by the end of the week.

The came 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.

Tembe accused Mgidlana of negotiating in bad faith.

Mgidlana released a statement on June 4 denying 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.

Read more on:    nehawu  |  cape town  |  labour action

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