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Paper trail exposes lies told by MEC

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BALDWIN NDABA

Gauteng MEC for Local Government and Housing Humphrey Mmemezi has lied again and again to the provincial legislature.

He told the legislature he had spent more than R38 000 on accommodation in Malaysia, paying the Prince Hotel Residence in Kuala Lumpur R38 640 for a seven-day stay while on an official state visit.

In March, DA local government and housing spokesman Fred Nel asked Mmemezi: how many nights had the MEC stayed in hotels last year; what was the total cost; which hotels did he stay in; how much was spent on each stay; what was the justification for staying at each hotel; and how was payment made.

In a reply on May 18, Mmemezi said he had spent 47 nights in hotels the past year and

gave a breakdown.

He claimed he had used his credit card to settle his R38 640 bill.

But Independent Newspapers has seen Mmemezi’s corporate cardholder statement for December and it does not reflect such a payment.

His government-issued credit card was the one used in Malaysia.

The only items listed on his credit card for December 2011 was R226.54 spent at Bumbu Desa restaurant and later R396 at Nando’s Chickenland on December 7.

Independent Newspapers asked Mmemezi for proof of the R38 640. This was not forthcoming.

The credit card was used inside SA on December 10 when he should have been in Malaysia.

These were some of the things Mmemezi spent money on while he was in SA while he was supposedly overseas, according to his claim:

l R1 472.60 spent at Nando’s Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal.

l On December 11,R2 950 at Augusta Spur in Umhlanga Ridge, on on December 11.

l R3 360 at Moyo UShaka pier in Durban on December 12.

l R202.08 on groceries at Bonanza Spar in Krugersdorp worth R202.08 on December 16.

l R159 at Bates Service Station in Port Shepstone three days later.

l R98.29 on groceries at Rhino Cash & Carry in Mthatha on December 23.

l R387.17 on groceries at Myezo Spar, also in Mthatha, on Christmas Eve.

These were the only listed expenses for December last year.

Mmemezi had claimed to the legislature that from September 16 to 18, he had been booked into the Irene Country Lodge in Pretoria.

He said he had used his credit card to pay R3 430 for his stay there.

This is contradicted by his credit card statement, which places him on in Durban’s Shelly Beach earlier on September 18.

There Mmemezi had spent R697 at the Georgia Spur.

Later that night, he made an overnight booking at Irene Country Lodge and was charged R245.

Mmemezi claimed that from October 7 to 9, he had been booked into the Irene Country Lodge and the government had been billed R15 070, but Independent Newspapers has seen a bill showing Mmemezi was charged only R245 for his overnight stay on October 8.

Mmemezi told the legislature that on August 29 until September 1, he had paid R4 629 for staying at Protea Hotel Edward in KwaZulu-Natal, but his credit card indicates otherwise. The statement Independent Newspapers has seen indicates he had made an overnight booking at the Beach Hotel in Durban only on August 31.

He also claimed that on September 1 and 2, he had been booked into the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria, but there is nothing supporting this in his credit card statement.

The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union has called for Mmemezi’s temporary suspension and a probe.

It said: “These allegations paint a disturbing picture of an overpaid government leader misusing taxpayers’ money to satisfy his insatiable appetite for overindulgence.”


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