Before now, many people were cajouled into believing that South Africa’s economy dwindles with each passing minute but after this shocking news emerged, so many South Africans have been pushed to have a rethink about the state’s economy. And in this case, it won’t be bad if people should know how SA’s parliament secretary spent tax payers money!
Anyways, no need to be too fast or calculative here until convincing details on how Gengezi Mgidlana spent a whooping sum of Rm2 on an Euro trip emerges.
Following a weekend media report yesterday, opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) revealed that Parliament secretary, Gengezi Mgidlana and other senior officials lavished ‘an outrageous R2 million on a two-week benchmarking exercise’ across Europe.
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Speaking further, DA chief whip, John Steenhuisen expressed disappointment over Mgidlana’s extravagant spending and labelled it “a disgusting appropriation of public funds”. He said that “Repeatedly Mr Mgidlana has proven himself to be more interested in widening his waistline and pockets than ensuring that Parliament responsibly executes its mandate. Therefore, Steenhuisen added that he will request that the newly-established Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament summon Mr Mgidlana and have him provide a full report on his office’s ‘Eurotrip.
EFF Attacks Parliament Secretary Gengezi Mgidlana
Reacting also, the EFF spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, said Mgidlana must be disciplined for the 10-day, R2m “oversight trip” to the UK.
Expressing shock at figure, Ndlozi asserted that Mgidlana needed to admit he merely traveled to Europe “for tourism” because the party [EFF] has not seen any tangible improvement in parliament since September.
The fighter’s spokesperson wondered why such amount should be lavished whereas parliament often complained of limited resources. He recalled how parliament workers went on strike for a month over payment and added that it [Parliament] won’t tolerate, useless, or wasteful expenditure.
Last year, Parliament secretary, Mgidlana and his delegation of four people spent R940 622 on the UK trip in September. Report said that of this amount, R177 350 was spent on a three-night stay at a London hotel. A week later, the parliament scribe took off to Turkey, to study the workings of the Turkish Parliament, and then to Switzerland, for the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). This cost another R900 000.
Mgidlana, his deputy, Penelope Tyawa, acting deputy secretary Modibedi Phindela, former acting human resources executive Mpho Mokonyana and Mgidlana’s personal assistant, Lolita Ntshinga flew business class to London and then on to Edinburgh.
Also, reports stated that the group spent three nights at the luxurious Conrad London St James hotel, where Mgidlana’s room cost R14 050 a night.
Meanwhile, Parliament has responded to the thorny issue. Speaking to the paper, spokesperson Luzuko Jacob asserted that the trip was in-line with Parliament’s protocol, and that its effects were already visible.
“Some of the lessons learnt and experienced have already been implemented, and have influenced the institution’s plans and practices,” he said.