Office of the Chief Whip
Parliament`s investigation of allegations around secretary to Parliament
25 March 2012
The Office of the ANC Chief Whip welcomes and supports Parliament`s decision to enlist the services of the Auditor-General to investigate allegations relating to the Secretary to Parliament`s construction of the security wall. The investigation follows a media report alleging that the Secretary to Parliament, Zingile Dingani, used the institution`s money to build a R186 000 security wall at his residence.
The Office of the Chief Whip has since called for an investigation into these allegations. We agree with the Presiding Officers that as an important branch of our constitutional system, any accusation relating to the institution assumes special significance due to its role in our society and democracy. Therefore the presiding officers` swift decision to subject these claims to a formal probe is commendable. This augurs well for transparency and accountability that the institution normally expects of those it oversees.
We urge all stakeholders to respect the fact that the Secretary to Parliament remains innocent until proven otherwise.
The Office of the ANC Chief Whip is of a view that for this activist Parliament to stay true to its objectives, it needs not only public representatives who are dedicated, selfless and hardworking, but it also requires parliamentary systems and support structures that are efficient, effective and accountable. In recognition of the critical role an efficient, effective and accountable parliament plays in strengthening its oversight responsibility to bring about change in the material conditions of our people, the institution in 2009 passed the Financial Management of Parliament Act.
The objectives of the Act are, amongst other things, to ensure transparency, accountability and sound management of the revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities of Parliament. The Act also provides for parliamentary oversight of Parliament`s budgeting and expenditure through an appropriate oversight mechanism of Parliament.
For this reason, the Act calls for the establishment of an oversight committee to oversee parliament`s financial operations and administrative performance. The Act also confers on this oversight committee, the powers that committees of Parliament have under sections 56 and 69 of the Constitution.
In this regard, the Office of the Chief Whip is pleased that steps are being taken by Parliament to fully implement this important legislation.