Ricochet News

Parli Secretary’s Eurotrip nothing to do with learning - Ndlozi

By Charl Bosch - Apr 26, 2016
Parli Secretary’s Eurotrip nothing to do with learning - Ndlozi

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has joined the call for Parliament to investigate alleged reports of wasteful expenditure against its Secretary, Gengezi Mgidlana.

Over the weekend, CityPress reported that nearly R2-million was spend by Mgidlana and four staff members on a ten day “benchmarking” exercise tour in Europe, which included staying in five star hotels, flying business class on South African Airways and British Airways, as well as making use of chauffeur driven vehicles.

According to the paper, Mgidlana and his entourage spent a total of R940 622 visiting England and Scotland, with another R900 000 being forked out for trips to Turkey and Switzerland a week later.

In a statement, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said it is unlikely that the trip to the UK had anything to do with learning the running of Parliament, and that Mgidlana must admit that the trip was for tourism purposes.

“It is not possible to stay in the UK for 10 days in oversight visit to learn how Parliament is administered. Since September, there is nothing to show that he has any improvement in the proper administration of Parliament,” Ndlozi said.

“Mgidlana must be subjected to a disciplinary process which should send a strong message that as an oversight body that demands other institutions to use public funds with care, parliament does not tolerate useless and wasteful expenditure”.

Earlier, Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said it would be submitting an application for Parliament to investigate the trip.

“This is a disgusting appropriation of public funds and Mr Mgidlana and his office must account for it,” Steenhuisen said.

“Parliament is currently debating government budgets, yet under Mr Mgidlana the institution refuses to set an example for the departments and entities that report to it. This instance is just another in a questionable string that clearly illustrate that Parliament needs a standing committee to oversee its enormous budget”.

Parliament spokesperson Luzuko Jacob however stated that the trip constituted nothing suspicious, and that a number measures learned from the visit had already been implemented.