Dingani to fight sacking
Parliament's chief administrator, Zingile Dingani, has vowed to mount a legal challenge to a recommendation that he be fired.
The recommendation was made after he was found guilty of misleading the legislature when he applied for a R186 000 salary advance to build a security wall at his house.
Dingani, who earns more than R1.8-million a year as secretary to parliament, told The Times yesterday that he did not agree with the findings of a disciplinary panel that had been convened following allegations that he misled parliament when he applied for the advance.
The proposed sacking of Dingani follows a Sunday Times exposé in March detailing how he misled National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu into approving his salary advance, and how an investigation by the auditor-general had recommended that he be hauled over the coals.
The disciplinary hearing found him guilty on two of nine charges.
Dingani, who had pleaded not guilty to all the charges, said he was consulting his lawyers about challenging the recommendation that he be sacked.
"I leave my options very open to challenge that because I don't agree with the guilty [finding]; no, I don't agree . once parliament communicates then I will take my steps to deal with the matter . I will sit down with my legal team and look at my options," he said.
Nomaindia Mfeketo, the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, said yesterday that the disciplinary panel had recommended Dingani's immediate dismissal because he had deliberately misled parliament's presiding officers, Sisulu and National Council of Provinces chairman Mninwa Mahlangu.
Sisulu and Mahlangu together wield what is commonly referred to as the executive authority of parliament.
The recommendation to axe Dingani must now go to the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces for approval. This will happen on Tuesday.
Only these two houses have the power to hire and fire the secretary to parliament.
Moloto Mothapo, spokesman for ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga, said he welcomed the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings against Dingani.
"This sends a strong message that parliament, as an institution that makes laws and holds others accountable, does not tolerate unlawful acts within its ranks," he said.
Mfeketo said Dingani had been found guilty of two charges of misconduct, charge1 being the more serious.
Charge 1 related to Dingani's alleged misrepresentation during his motivation for a salary advance.
"The finding on this charge highlights that the executive authority was improperly induced to sign the memorandum by the secretary to parliament," said Mfeketo.
She said that, in the memorandum arguing for the R186000 advance, Dingani told Sisulu and Mahlangu that parliament had a policy that allowed staff to be given salary advances "in exceptional cases".
Dingani argued in his defence during the disciplinary hearing that there "had been a long-standing practice on salary advances".
Mfeketo said the disciplinary hearing had been unable to establish the existence of such a policy or of common practice with regard to allowing salary advances.