KZN legislature speaker willing to face public protector over graft allegations
Durban - The speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, Nontembeko Boyce, says her hands are clean and she is willing to face a public protector probe over the allegations levelled against her.
Boyce was speaking on Tuesday in response to a litany of allegations made against her by an anonymous whistleblower in a letter sent to the IFP’s chief whip in the legislature.
Among the allegations made against Boyce, who is also an ANC senior party leader in KZN, was that she opted to use her own vehicle in order to claim more mileage money; hired friends and ANC comrades; and was victimising staff who were against her alleged iron-fist rule.
In the detailed response to rebut the allegations, Boyce said she used her car because the one used by her predecessor had already reached its desirable mileage as per the legislature’s policy.
“When I became the speaker, I was informed that the car used by the previous speaker had reached 120 000 kilometres and had been referred to the disposal committee.
“I was then given options of using a hired car or the personal one and be reimbursed for kilometres travelled on official business purposes.
“It is important to underscore that the use of private vehicles for business use is provided for in the Ministerial Handbook that is applicable to members of the executive and the speaker of the legislature and therefore not illegal,” Boyce said.
Boyce further defended the employment of an executive manager for the parliamentary service, saying contrary to Gwala’s claims in an open letter, it was done in accordance with the laws guiding her office.
“The post was widely publicised in the regional and national newspapers and a successful candidate was already in the employ of the KZN legislature…
“The recruitment for the post was held in line with the legislature’s known and open recruitment policies.
“A product thereof who is the current incumbent of this position, has grown through the ranks of the legislature since joining the institution in 2006 and met the requirements,” she said.
She stressed that all appointments in her office were done according to the rules. This includes the controversial post of media manager, which it was alleged was matched with a higher salary than the one gazetted.
Boyce also distanced herself from a R3 million book project to compile the work of the legislature from 1994. She said it was done by the previous administration.
Boyce then dared Gwala to approach the public protector for an investigation as her hands were clean.
“Gwala gives the speaker 21 days to respond with the threat of reporting to the Hawks or the Public Protector's Office.
“This is welcome because as the speaker who is charged to exercise accountability and oversight of how the taxpayers' money is spent, we are first to open ourselves to accountability.”