DA Calls for investigation into alleged irregular salary increase for Secretary of Parliament

Issued by Siviwe Gwarube MP – Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
18 Apr 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached a soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has officially tabled a motion to establish an ad hoc joint committee to thoroughly investigate the details surrounding the inflated salary of the Secretary to Parliament, Mr Xolile George in accordance with Joint Rule 186 of Parliament.

This has been necessitated because it was revealed that the remuneration package of the STP was inflated by 70% by the Executive Authority – the Speaker of the National Assembly and the NCOP Chair.

Once these revelations came to light; the DA approached the Joint Standing Committee of Financial Management of Parliament to probe the matter. The Chairs of the committee delayed the matter and essentially sought to sweep the matter under the carpet.

The matter also met roadblocks when it was raised in the Chief Whips’ Forum.

The DA lodged a formal complaint with the Powers and Privileges Committee to probe the the culpability of the then Speaker of the NA, Ms Mapisa Nqakula, and a similar complaint in the NCOP to probe the NCOP Chair, Mr Masondo.

Despite the senior counsel appointed by Parliament confirming that the Executive Authority (Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo) have a case to answer for; the committee ignored that legal advice and opted to not pursue the matter since Mapisa-Nqakula had resigned.

The DA believes that it this is a terrible decision by the ANC in the committee and once again seeks to stifle accountability.

However, the facts around this salary hike remain vague and questions still remain. Why was the STP awarded a salary that is 70% more than what was advertised and what was presented in Parliament? What remedial actions remain? Who must be held accountable for misleading Parliament?

The DA will not rest until these questions are answered. The Deputy Speaker and NCOP chair can decide to constitute the ad hoc joint committee and ensure that it tables its report before the end of this term of Parliament on the 21st of May.

It is imperative that we uphold the highest standards of transparency and accountability in the management of public funds and appointments within Parliament.