Mmemezi guilty of ethics breach

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IOL july 11  mmemezi INLSA (File photo) Humphrey Mmemezi. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Former Gauteng local government and housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi has been found guilty of contravening the provincial legislature's code of conduct and ethics.

The findings were announced in an integrity committee report presented to a special sitting of the legislature on Friday morning.

They related to Mmemezi having used a government credit card and allegations that he covered up an accident last year involving a government vehicle.

“The MEC has, at the very least, been very economic with the truth surrounding his involvement in an accident and the subsequent action which took place in KZN on his journey to the Eastern Cape,” according to the report.

“He has misled the legislature and the office of the IC (integrity commission) and may have tried to cover up the extent of damage to his official vehicle.”

On the use of a government credit card, the report stated, “The committee finds that the MEC's utilisation of the government issued credit card for personal use amounted to an act of negligence.”

The committee found that Mmemezi's resignation as the MEC of local government and housing was sufficient sanction for his actions.

It recommended that the Ministerial Handbook be reviewed to ensure the efficient use of government resources.

The committee concluded that the premier should issue clear guidelines on the use of state credit cards, in line with the Public Finance Management Act.

The report was adopted unanimously by the legislature, though the opposition DA made a declaration that other allegations against Mmemezi regarding his time with the Mogale City municipality and his time as MEC should be investigated.

DA caucus leader Jack Bloom told the special sitting Mmemezi had lied and should step down as a member of the legislature.

Asked about this, Brian Hlongwa, ANC chief whip in the Gauteng provincial legislature, told reporters: “Ultimately to err is human, to forgive is divine.”

He said the ANC and Mmemezi jointly decided the honourable thing to do was for him to relinquish his position.

Mmemezi quit as local government and housing MEC on Wednesday.

In a statement, he apologised for personal purchases made on a government credit card.

“After consultation with my organisation, through the ANC integrity committee and the provincial office bearers, I have decided that the most honourable thing to do under these circumstances is to step down from the executive council as the MEC,” he said. – Sapa

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