National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has welcomed the finalisation of the outcomes of the Audit Committee that was appointed to investigate allegations the union made against the Secretary to Parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana.
The report indicates that Mgidlana must be subjected to a disciplinary hearing and that he has seven days within which he must give reasons why he should not be placed on suspension.
The union believes Mgidlana should be suspended immediately because he has already been paid for sitting at home while he was on “so called special leave.”
“The reason Mgidlana was granted special leave was to allow for an investigation into the allegations. Now that the report has established prima facie grounds, the union see no reason why he should be given seven days within which to respond. Therefore, the union calls for his immediate suspension. In this regard, the union will be writing to the Presiding Officers to advance its argument on the latter.
“Although Mgidlana has not yet been dismissed, the union feels vindicated by the outcomes of the investigation which have affirmed that there is a case to be answered. For some time now, Mgidlana and those benefitting from his transgressions have been accusing NEHAWU of having a ‘political agenda’ against him and watering down the severity of the transgressions the union wanted investigated,” the union said.
The statement also questioned “Mgidlana and his cabal within Parliament” decision to accuse some journalists of wrong-doing, and for calling them “a mouthpiece or conduit for certain individuals or political actors,” while doing their work.
“The union further notes with concern the deliberate omission of its role in raising the alarm against Mgidlana’s transgressions. The statement issued today by Parliament Communication Services makes no reference to the fact that allegations against Mgidlana were brought by NEHAWU. The union will monitor developments closely and will be available to assist the process in whatever form the institution deem necessary.
“In 2016, the union had requested an investigation into Mgidlana’s transgressions from the Presiding Officers and later made the same request to the Office of the Public Protector asking it to investigate a range of transgressions the union believed Mgidlana committed. In March 2017, the union escalated the request for investigation to the Joint Standing Committee of the Financial Management of Parliament (JSCFMP),” the union said.
The union announced it will once again write to the presiding officers to ask for the copy of the report so it can study it and see whether there are any allegations the audit committee failed to address. If deficiencies are found, it has threatened to ask the Office of the Public Protector to investigate such.