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Johannesburg - The DA in Gauteng welcomed the “long overdue” resignation of Gauteng housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi on Wednesday.
“It took 50 days of media exposure of his questionable actions before he resigned after vigorously protesting his complete innocence,” said Jack Bloom, Democratic Alliance Gauteng caucus leader.
“We do not believe that he has come clean on all his misdeeds, and he should not be let off the hook just because he has resigned after pressure,” said Bloom.
The DA doubted that he had fully refunded his personal purchases on his government credit card before it came into the public domain, as Mmemezi had claimed in a statement announcing his resignation.
“We suspect that the refund only happened after DA MPL Fred Nel asked official questions in the legislature about his credit card spending.”
Questions remained about his accident in KwaZulu-Natal that led to his damaged official vehicle being auctioned at a loss to the state and a proper investigation was also needed into the serious allegations made about him when he worked at the Mogale City municipality, the DA said.
Announcing his resignation on Wednesday, Mmemezi said it was the right thing to do, even though he had paid the personal purchases made on the credit card.
He denied other allegations against him and said he would take legal action regarding these.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said his resignation should set a precedent for others.
“We note that Comrade Mmemezi strenuously denies some of the allegations, but has conceded that others, particularly those relating to the misuse of the credit card, are valid,” Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement.
“He is therefore to be congratulated on his honourable decision to resign and to refund government for the improper expenditure.”
Craven said it was unacceptable for public representatives to continue holding positions in the government while facing investigation or criminal prosecution, and even mobilise demonstrations of support outside the courts where they were standing trial.
Craven said Mmemezi's defence relating to his understanding of the use of the card supported Cosatu's call for a review of the Ministerial Handbook. It needed to unambiguously spell out rules for the use of public money. - Sapa