The office of Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane refused to comment on Monday on a report that she would have dismissed housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi had she not been called out of the country on government business.
The Star reported that Mmemezi was to have been fired before the end of month and that Mokonyane wanted to be in the country when it happened.
“That decision is for the premier to make. I cannot respond to speculation. The decision on MEC Mmemezi is the premier's decision. I am not in a position to firm up what The Star has reported,” said Mokonyane's spokesman Xoli Mngambi.
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.
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 hit by a VIP vehicle linked to Mmemezi in November 2011, and apparently suffered permanent physical damage. The matter is currently in court. - Sapa