Speaker accepts recommendation against secretary of Parliament

Gengezi Mgidlana found guilty of serious misconduct in relation to four of 13 charges against him

Summarily dismissed: Speaker accepts recommendation against secretary of Parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana

11 September 2019

Parliament's presiding officers have accepted a disciplinary committee recommendation that suspended secretary of Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana be summarily dismissed after he was found guilty of serious misconduct in relation to four of the 13 charges against him.

This must first be put to both Houses of Parliament, speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise told the Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament on Wednesday.

"It took a long time," she said.

Mgidlana was suspended more than two years ago.

Of the 13 charges against him, one was withdrawn, he was found not guilty of five and guilty of seven.

Mgidlana was found guilty of serious misconduct in relation to four of the seven charges he was found guilty of, with a recommendation that he be summarily dismissed.

For the other three , written warnings were recommended.

Modise said they would write a letter to Mgidlana, informing him of their decision to accept the disciplinary committee's recommendation. They will then refer the matter to both houses of Parliament – the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces - for processing because the Houses appoint the secretary.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen asked when Mgidlana's contract expired.

According to Modise, it ends at the end of November.

Steenhuisen then asked whether his contract should just not be renewed but Modise said no because Parliament spent money on a disciplinary process and somebody with findings like that against him isn't "somebody you allow to stay".

"Right answer!" Steenhuisen responded.

Mgidlana was placed on voluntary special leave on June 9, 2017, after the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) levelled allegations against him.

Nehawu accused Mgidlana of receiving an ex gratia payment of R71 000, irregularly awarding himself a study bursary over junior staff, and following improper procurement processes.

He faced charges relating to the breach of legislation on the financial management of Parliament and provincial legislatures, the breach of parliamentary policies as well as the breach of the National Road Traffic Act.

In April last year, he launched an unsuccessful court bid to interdict the disciplinary process.

Mgidlana previously denied the allegations against him, saying no evidence had been produced to back them up.

"Central to Nehawu'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 at the time.