Parliament wants to make five-star hotel stays official for senior aide, internal document shows


A senior parliamentary official may soon fly business class if a new policy is passed.
Image: 123RF / Cheskyw

Parliament wants to make it official policy for its most senior official to stay at five-star hotels and fly business class.

This is according to a draft policy document seen by the Sunday Times.

The document also proposes that all parliamentary employees undergo vetting to the top-secret level.

The proposed travel policy comes as incumbent secretary to parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana, is on suspension pending his disciplinary hearing. He is facing charges related to, among others, allegedly spending taxpayers’ money on international and domestic trips — some with his wife. He spent R4-million in two years on such trips.

The policy would have to be approved by National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise, the chairwoman of the National Council of Provinces, before it is implemented.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union said it would oppose the proposal.

Parliament spokesman Moloto Mothapo said the document was merely a draft, but lobby group the Right2Know Campaign condemned the vetting proposal as contrary to the principles of open democracy and warned it could be replicated in other arms of state if adopted by parliament.