Parliament says it cannot cut corners in the matter of it’s suspended Secretary, Gengezi Mgidlana, who has been suspended for the past two years on full pay.

He claims an annual salary of more than R2.8 million. His suspension follows allegations of abuse of parliamentary funds.

The allegations against Mgidlana include him awarding himself an ex-gratia payment of more than R71 000.

He also signed off a R30 000 study bursary and misused blue light security vehicles.

The investigation was concluded in November 2017  and the report was then handed to Parliament’s presiding officers.

Parliament’s joint standing committee on the financial management of the institution has raised concern about the long delay in proceedings.

In May this year, Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, also found Mgidlana guilty of improper conduct.

However, some of the allegations were referred back to parliament for a determination of guilt or innocence.

She has given Parliament 30 days to provide her office with an action plan.

“The process has not concluded, the guilt or otherwise of the secretary to parliament. So you cannot there start imposing punitive measures such as withholding a salary while the process is still going on. So hence we are saying the process must be allowed to continue until it reaches its’ logical conclusion,” says Parliamentary Spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo.

This story was updated on 29 July 2019 to reflect that Mr Mgidlana was not found guilty on all charges against him.

Official statement from the SABC:

The SABC apologises to Secretary to Parliament, Mr. Gengezi Mgidlana

On Sunday, 9 June 2019, the SABC broadcast/published a story relating to Secretary to Parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana’s outstanding disciplinary hearing.  Our news story incorrectly stated that the Public Protector found Mgidlana guilty of misconduct without stating that some allegations were referred back to parliament for a determination of guilt or innocence. By failing to give the proper context, we created the impression that all allegations against Mgidlana were substantiated, whereas only three allegations out of eight were substantiated. We accept that this was inaccurate and unfair to Mgidlana.  We also concede that our story should have stated that Mgidlana is in the process of challenging the adverse findings of the Public Protector. The SABC ought to have afforded him the opportunity to state his side of the story. We apologise for these errors.