(File photo) Photo: Antoine de Ras

Dirk Feldman, the Cope MP in hot water over his drunken antics aboard an SAA flight to India, is to face a multi-party disciplinary committee and will give his “full co-operation” once the hearing starts.

Parliament said yesterday that its presiding officers had decided to refer the matter to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) after “reflecting” on the events that led to Feldman being ordered to return home.

Feldman was part of a parliamentary delegation to India earlier this month when he is reported to have attempted to access the flight’s emergency exit while intoxicated.

In a statement, Parliament said the NCOP had been in contact with Feldman’s party about the developments and would be setting up a multi-party committee to look into the issues and to make recommendations to the House.

“The matter will be dealt with speedily, while following due process. The order for Mr Feldman to return home followed an incident aboard a South African Airways flight en route to India, which saw Feldman being briefly detained by the Indian security upon arrival at Mumbai airport.”

Speaker Max Sisulu and NCOP chairman Mninwa Mahlangu, who arrived on a different flight to the rest of the delegation, had received a report about the incident.

“After speaking to Feldman, who did not deny the allegations against him, they deemed it both necessary and appropriate to send him home,” the statement added.

Feldman has not denied the reports but has already submitted his side of the story.

Speaking to Independent Newspapers earlier this week, Feldman said he would co-operate, before referring the matter to party whip Dennis Bloem.

“We are waiting for the chairman’s (Mahlangu’s) report. I respect the decision and nothing is secret. I believe I’ve done the right thing,” said Feldman.

Bloem confirmed that Feldman had put forward “his version of events”.

“We are just waiting for the report of Mr Mahlangu. We must have both sides of the story, that’s the natural way of justice and then we will decide what to do,” said Bloem.

He said it was a parliamentary process to have a multi-party committee look into the matter because Feldman’s misconduct had happened during an official parliamentary visit.

“It’s because the taxpayer paid for that trip. But from Cope we welcome the initiative. Mr Feldman will give them (the multi-party committee) his full co-operation and we will also give our full co-operation,” said Bloem.

Meanwhile, the investigation into secretary to Parliament Zingile Dingani and chief financial officer Lesley Mondo has begun, said Parliament’s spokesman Luzuko Jacobs.

The probe relates to Dingani’s interest-free loan from Parliament of R186 000 for a security wall at his home.

Parliament said earlier the outcome of the investigation would help it to ensure proper control of its internal systems.

“The process has kicked off and is under way. But we’re still at the part where we indicated and there are no new developments,” said Jacobs.

Pretoria News Weekend