Parliament parts ways with former head of protection services

(iStock)
(iStock)

Parliament announced on Tuesday that it had parted ways with its former head of protection services, who has been involved in a long, drawn-out dispute with her former employer.

Zelda Holtzman, who was the head of Parliamentary Protection Services, was initially suspended in July 2015.

She had been locked in a lengthy dispute with her employer at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

But Parliament's spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said a settlement had been reached with Holtzman "to part ways cordially".

"The settlement involves Ms Holtzman's withdrawal of her dispute lodged with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. It also involves Parliament withdrawing its charges against Ms Holtzman and a decision to dismiss her," he said.

"In terms of the settlement, Ms Holtzman will be paid her gross salary, equivalent to a period of eight months."

Mothapo added that Parliament dismissed Holtzman in 2017, following a disciplinary inquiry which found her guilty of several charges

The allegations included that she refused to provide written responses and a report to her manager, following lawful instructions given to her. They also included that she had failed to produce a strategic business plan and to submit an annual budget.

"However, she challenged the decision at the CCMA and it was there that the parties opted, instead, to settle amicably," Mothapo said.

"Today's agreement brings the long, drawn-out dispute to an end and also ends any relationship between Parliament and Ms Holtzman."

News24 reported that Holtzman believed there were suspicious incidents linked to her disciplinary process, including a stolen disciplinary record and critical information which she could have used to defend herself against the "trumped-up" charges.

She told News24 in October that she believed she was fired from Parliament over an investigation into the alleged illegal use of blue lights, which she had called for, among other reasons.

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