National

Sacked parliamentary boss vows to clear his name

Andisiwe Makinana

Last week, Parliament announced that it had dismissed Leslie Mondo with immediate effect following an internal disciplinary process.

Secretary to Parliament, Zingile Dingani. (Sunday Times)

The statement said Mondo was charged with five counts of misconduct relating to financial matters and had been found guilty on four of the counts.

It said no further internal process would be entered into.

Mondo's disciplinary hearing followed recommendations by the auditor general, who was asked by Parliament's presiding officers to investigate a salary advance of R186 000 received by the secretary to Parliament, Zingile Dingani, in December last year for the construction of a brick wall around his home.

Written confirmation
The auditor general recommended that disciplinary action be taken against Mondo for issuing an instruction to the finance department without obtaining written ­confirmation from speaker Max Sisulu and Mninwa Mahlangu, chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, and for allowing repayment terms inconsistent with the previous practice.

The auditor general also recommended that Dingani be disciplined for incorrectly indicating to the executive authority (Sisulu and Mahlangu) that policies of Parliament made provision for the granting of salary advances, although the policy was still in draft format. According to the report, Dingani misled Sisulu and Mahlangu when he applied for the advance by claiming Parliament's policies did, in fact, make provision for the granting of salary advances.

Parliament transferred the money to the builders in December 2011 for the wall around Dingani's home in Panorama in Cape Town's northern suburbs, despite it not having approved the draft policy on salary and advances.

Dingani was told to repay the money in instalments of R10 000 a month over 19 months, starting in February.

The report also found that the memo in which Sisulu and Mahlangu approved the advance had said ­nothing about the terms of repayment, and Mondo's instruction was not in accordance with Parliament's previous practice of deducting advances in full from the employee's next pay cheque.

Pointing fingers
This week Mondo told the Mail & Guardian that he was consulting his lawyers.

"I'm going all out to clear my name. I'm shocked, I've never ever dreamt of this," he said.

Mondo refused to point fingers or go into detail about his disciplinary process. He said he made the payment (to the builders) after receiving a phone call from one of the two presiding officers, saying they had approved the request and that he should make the payment and that documentation would follow.

"I was phoned by one of the two. He said 'make the payment'. Was I supposed to say no? I didn't have a reason not to trust him."

Confirmation
Although refusing to state the five charges he faced, Mondo implied that they were not  the same charges that had been recommended by the auditor general.

"The auditor general said 'charge him for issuing an instruction to the finance department without obtaining written confirmation and for allowing repayment terms inconsistent with the previous practice'. Nothing says take action against me for having misled presiding officers," Mondo said.

"I'm looking at my options. There are certain processes laid down by labour legislation," Mondo said.

Parliament would not be drawn on the details of the case either. Spokesperson Luzuko Jacobs said he was not in a position to add to the information contained in Parliament's earlier statement regarding the matter.

Dingani's disciplinary hearing has yet to be concluded.


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