Legislature

Unions seethe after ex-parliamentary secretary secures legislature tender as details shrouded in secrecy

Gengezi Mgidlana. (Provided)

  • Parliament’s awarding of a tender to its former secretary Gengezi Mgidlana is under intense scrutiny.
  • Emails indicate that Mgidlana’s firm, Afrocentric Markets Consultancy, has been appointed to conduct research for Parliament.
  • In 2019, the NCOP and NA unanimously ruled that he be fired after allegations of maladministration.

Union leaders in parliament have called on the institution to cancel a tender, shrouded in secrecy, to former secretary of the legislature Gengezi Mgidlana – who was fired over allegations of maladministration.

In a statement, the National Union of Education, Health and Allied Workers (Nehawu) said that given Mgidlana’s history in parliament, the research contract should be cancelled.

He called on the presidents, led by National Assembly (NA) Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Speaker Amos Masondo, to instruct the Secretary of Parliament, Xolile George, to rescind the contract.

Email exchanges indicate that Mgidlana’s firm, Afrocentric Markets Consultancy, has been appointed to conduct research for Parliament.

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The firm was appointed by Legislative Support Services (LSS) on behalf of the South African Legislative Sector (SALS) to “carry out the Benchmarking Project of the legal and policy framework that governs cooperation between national spheres of government, provincial and local,” the emails read.

Temba Gubula, Nehawu’s secretary to parliament, said the union believed the appointment of Mgidlana’s company to do business with parliament was irregular and unethical.

He said:

Mgidlana was fired for very serious acts of misconduct by Parliament, which should have immediately disqualified him or his company from any kind of business with Parliament. In 2017, the union made 13 allegations against Mgidlana, and in February 2018 the presiding officer of the disciplinary hearing found him guilty of seven out of 13 counts, including giving himself an ex gratia bonus. of 71,000 rand, which he did not. ‘t qualify for. In 2019, the NCOP and NA unanimously decided that he be fired.

Mgidlana was placed on voluntary special leave on June 9, 2017, after Nehawu brought corruption allegations against him.

He was charged with breaching the financial management legislation of Parliament and the provincial legislatures, breaching parliamentary policies as well as breaching the National Road Traffic Act.

On February 1, 2018, disciplinary charges were served on Mgidlana. A disciplinary hearing found Mgidlana guilty on seven of 13 counts, and on August 30, 2019, the presiding judge of the disciplinary hearing recommended his summary dismissal.

Parliament spokesman Moloto Mothapo told The Sunday Times that no appointments had been made.

In an email to George, LSS requested a meeting to inform him of Mgidlana’s appointment.

“Afrocentric Markets Consultancy has been appointed by the Legislative Support Services (LSS) on behalf of the South African Legislative Sector (SALS) to carry out the Benchmarking Project of the legal and policy framework that governs national, provincial and local government. We will approach your institution again in the coming weeks to make arrangements to interview a sample of individuals relevant to this study. We will send you a communication to that effect and liaise with you and your institution to obtain the “relevant sample. We look forward to your institution’s cooperation,” the email read.

Funded by the European Union, the LSS provides administrative support to provincial legislatures, the Speakers’ Forum of SA and other related structures.

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It also facilitates liaison between the national Houses of Parliament and the nine provincial legislatures.

Gubula accused Mgidlana of having a propensity to pervert due process to achieve his personal desires.

“It is still unclear why Parliament needed this service to be offered by a service provider when there are many unemployed graduates who can be employed to do this job on an ongoing basis. It is also unclear when the tender was announced, how much the contract cost, how many other companies submitted their bids, as well as details of the members of management who sat on the committee that decided to name Mgidlana’s business, Gubula said. .

News24 was unable to establish details of the tender. Questions sent to Mothapo went unanswered. A response will be added once received.