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Parliament advised to sack secretary for misconduct

Sapa

A disciplinary panel has recommended secretary to Parliament Zingile Dingani be fired with immediate effect, after being found guilty of misconduct.

Deputy speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo has recommended secretary to Parliament Zingile Dingani be fired with immediate effect. (David Harrison, M&G)

Deputy speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo said on Thursday the panel had found Dingani guilty on two of nine charges of misconduct, relating to a R180 000 salary advance he secured from Parliament.

"The chairperson found the secretary guilty of two charges of misconduct," she told a media briefing, shortly after Dingani was informed of the findings in writing.

"This morning we received the findings, which are that the secretary must be dismissed with immediate effect."

Mfeketo said the first and most serious charge related to Dingani manipulating the speaker of the National Assembly and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces into authorising the salary advance.

"The finding on this charge highlights that the executive authority was improperly induced to sign a memorandum by the secretary to Parliament. This charge by itself contravenes several sections of the [Public Finance Management Act]."

'Funding gap'
Dingani convinced the speaker and the chairperson that a salary advance was his only hope after he ran out of money while building a wall around his house. He also persuaded them that salary advances were common practice in Parliament, contrary to the fact that there was a directive in 2009 that made it plain these were not allowed, Mfeketo said.

"The secretary to Parliament had led evidence that he had developed a funding gap while building a wall at his residence," she said.

She noted that he also contravened the Act by securing an interest-free advance, as the law stated that interest must be charged on all loans granted by Parliament.

Mfeketo said Dingani had repaid the money advanced to him in full, but had not paid the interest. The other seven charges related to smaller, procedural matters.

Mfeketo said the executive authority, the speaker and the council of provinces chairperson were applying their minds to the recommendation. It was not up to them to take action, but to the National Assembly, who appointed Dingani.

The executive was likely to put the matter to the floor on Tuesday. Mfeketo said she had received no indication whether Dingani intended to contest the findings. – Sapa

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