The suspended head of parliament’s protection services has been informed that she’s been axed following a disciplinary process, the national legislature said on Wednesday.
“Parliament yesterday [Tuesday] notified Ms Zelda Holtzman of her dismissal, with immediate effect, from the employ of parliament,” a statement said.
Parliament said the independent chairperson of the disciplinary inquiry, Professor Takalani Madima, had recommended dismissal on three of the charges on which she was found guilty, while he recommended a final written warning on another charge.
“The recommended sanctions of dismissal related to Ms Holtzman’s refusal to provide written responses and a report to her manager, in terms of a lawful instruction for her to do so. This amounted not only to gross insubordination but also a breakdown in the pivotal workplace relationship of trust between an employee and employer,” parliament said.
“Dismissal was also recommended for failing to produce a business plan in support of parliament’s strategic plan [a statutory requirement] and to submit an annual budget. A final written warning was recommended for failing to take steps to address divisions in the Parliamentary Protection Services, including between herself and her deputy.”
Holzman was found guilty on the charges in June. She originally faced 14 charges.
She was not convicted on any charges relating to “security breaches” at parliament, the original reason that was given for her suspension.
Holzman has previously claimed her objection to police being used to bolster the parliament security services was a reason for her suspension.
She had also approached the Council for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) claiming unfair labour practices after blowing the whistle on the use of blue light vehicles – cars usually driven by ministerial protection officers – by parliament’s suspended secretary, Gengezi Mgidlana.