Parliament's presiding officers have resolved to institute disciplinary proceedings against suspended Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana for alleged corruption and maladministration.
Mgidlana has been on special leave since June 9 after allegations were levelled against him by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu).
The union accused Mgidlana of receiving an ex gratia payment of R71 000, irregularly awarding himself a study bursary over junior staff, and following improper procurement processes.
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise received a report on the allegations from Parliament's audit committee last week.
"After applying their minds to the report, the presiding officers have decided that the recommendations and allegations made are serious and warrant that Parliament institutes a disciplinary process against Mr Mgidlana," a statement read on Wednesday.
Mgidlana has been given seven days to make representations on why he should not be placed on precautionary suspension, pending the completion of the disciplinary proceedings.
"Consistent with the principles of natural justice, the secretary to Parliament remains innocent until proven otherwise, by a due process – which the presiding officers hope will be conducted and concluded without delay."
In June, Mgidlana denied the allegations against him, saying that not a shred of evidence had been produced to back them up.
"Central to the Nehawu's malicious allegations is a claim that the current financial difficulty is caused by financial mismanagement and/ or corruption. This is a deliberately misleading, baseless and unnecessary propagation of untruths," he said.
The financial management of Parliament was regularly checked by the multiparty Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament and annually by the Auditor-General, who granted the institution a clean audit in its last report.
Nehawu has also accused Mgidlana of irregularly hiring senior management staff amid a budget crunch, and "extravagant and wasteful" overseas trips.
The union previously threatened to approach the High Court in June if Mgidlana was allowed to return following his special leave.
"The workers are done with Mgidlana. Thank you very much for the torture. It's time [to go]," said branch chairperson Sthembiso Tembe.
Penelope Tyawa has been acting in Mgidlana's stead since June 10.