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The ANC in Gauteng rejected a newspaper report on Monday that Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane would fire local government MEC Humphrey Mmemezi by the end of the month.
“The article is mendacious, malicious, unsubstantiated and far from the truth,” provincial spokesman Dumisa Ntuli said.
“The ANC integrity committee is currently investigating all allegations on the use of the official credit card and vehicle and will make its recommendations to the provincial executive committee in order to determine the (course) of action.”
The Star reported that Mokonyane planned to fire Mmemezi on her return from a trip to China. The premier reportedly had the full support of Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile and the party's provincial secretary David Makhura, who is Mmemezi's deputy.
But Ntuli said it was ill advised to say Mashatile and Makhura would take a decision on the matter outside the ANC's constitutional structures. Neither could act as the matter was still under investigation, he said.
Asked for comment earlier, Mokonyane's spokesman Xoli Mngambi said: “That decision is for the premier to make. I cannot respond to speculation. The decision on MEC Mmemezi is the premier's decision.”
Mngambi said: “I am not in a position to firm up what The Star has reported.”
Mokonyane was leaving for China on Monday for a week. Mngambi declined to give her return date for security reasons.
The Democratic Alliance in Gauteng said: “We hope that this report is true, as his firing is long overdue.
“The premier should fire him from China,” DA Gauteng caucus leader Jack Bloom said.
“Mmemezi represents everything wrong with the ANC's policy of cadre deployment where incompetents are placed in office and retained even as scandal rages around them.”
Mmemezi recently made headlines for his alleged misuse of government funds, including a claim that he used his department-issued credit card to buy a R10,000 painting from a fast-food restaurant in Pretoria.
West Rand teenager Thomas Ferreira was seriously injured when he was hit by a VIP vehicle linked to Mmemezi in November 2011. The matter is currently in court. - Sapa