Humphrey Mmemezi, the Gauteng MEC for Local Government and Housing, lied about the condition of a luxury government vehicle he crashed in KwaZulu-Natal in November last year.
The Star reported on March 9 that Mmemezi was involved in an accident during which a state car sustained damage of more than R100 000.
The paper also reported that the insurance company refused to pay because Mmemezi had failed to produce an accident report. The accident took place on November 11 in uMzimkhulu, KZN.
On the same day that the newspaper article hit the streets, Mmemezi was on Talk Radio 702, denying the report.
Asked if he was aware that the insurance company had refused to pay, Mmemezi said: “It is an administrative matter… The newspaper was telling a blue lie.”
On March 13, Mmemezi gave the same response in the Gauteng legislature when questioned by the DA’s spokesman on local government and housing, Fred Nel.
He said: “The car is in good condition, except the left rear door.”
The Star can reveal that five days after our initial article, the Gauteng Department of Local Government and Housing’s chief directorate of corporate support, Deidre Londt, requested permission for the car to be auctioned.
Londt confirmed that it was the same BMW X5, with the registration number XDF 805 GP, that Mmemezi had crashed.
Detailing reasons to housing department head Mongezi Mnyani for the auction, Londt said: “The vehicle is currently parked at B4 and is not running at all as it is not in a mechanical condition to be used by our MEC (Mmemezi).”
The DA now wants Premier Nomvula Mokonyane to fire Mmemezi because he had created an impression in the legislature that the vehicle had suffered only a minor dent on its left door. “The premier must act in the same way she did with the former MEC for agriculture, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko,” Nel said.
Nkomo-Ralehoko was fired after her second-hand ML 63 AMG car, which she had parked in her driveway, was stolen in June 2009 after it had spent just one night at their home.
At the time, The Star reported that Nkomo-Ralehoko was fired because the ANC was incensed that she had wasted R1 million by rushing to get the car before the paperwork was completed and before a tracking device was fitted.