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Humphrey Mmemezi is on a witch-hunt for people who leaked his state’s credit card abuses and luxury government vehicle damage to the media.
Independent Newspapers understands that Gauteng MEC for Local Government and Housing, Mmemezi has reduced the number of people dealing with the use of his credit card to one in a bid to prevent leaks. Insiders who had insight into his credit card statements have been moved to other units within the department.
Sources said Mmemezi had designated his chief financial officer Japhter Makhafola to be the only person handling his credit card usage. They also said FNB had been informed of the change.
It is also understood that Mmemezi accused his chief director: corporate services, Deidre Londt, of having leaked a memorandum showing that his senior managers had agreed to sell, on auction, the state vehicles he crashed in November last year.
Londt has since approached the Press Ombudsman in an attempt to make it clear she had not spoken to Independent Newspapers.
It is understood that finding the culprits behind the leaks was receiving serious attention.
Staff members’ phones, according to sources, have been bugged and the department’s head of security, Azwindini Maphanga, is being given a prominent role in the monitoring and surveillance of staff.
“Cameras have been installed to monitor the movement of people in the department. Senior managers in the regions are no longer allowed to have separate meetings in their offices,” a source said.
Mmemezi was to face a grilling today from the DA in the Gauteng legislature.
Sources in the department allege Mmemezi is related to his secretary Nonkululeko Zondi.
The DA is expected to ask Mmemezi whether Zondi – who, sources in the department say is related to him – was allowed to use a government vehicle for her personal use several times this year.
Zondi allegedly became involved in an accident using the car and now the DA wants answers.
The party’s spokesman on local government and housing, Fred Nel, is expected to ask Mmemezi if the accident occurred after or during working hours and why?
He is also expected to ask if Zondi was assigned a government car at the time of her accident.
The allegations of nepotism levelled at Mmemezi, with the Zondi issue as a backdrop, first surfaced in April when public service trade union Nehawu raised the issues.
Mmemezi is also accused of being on a drive to get rid of the union’s leaders in his department.
In April, Nehawu members picketed outside his office, accusing him of organising “jobs for pals”.
The protesters said Mmemezi was engaged in a massive recruitment drive of family members and close friends to the department.
Independent Newspapers has seen the notice to attend a disciplinary hearing served on several Nehawu leaders.
One leader was served with three charges of misconduct.
They are collectively charged with inciting fellow workers to take part “in a strike on April 17, 2012”.
They are also charged with organising an illegal strike on April 17. The third charge is trespassing.
According to the charges, the Nehawu leaders had entered into their workplace without the permission of the head of department, Mongezi Mnyani.
On April 20, the union leaders were served with precautionary suspension notices that appeared to have been signed by Mnyani in his capacity as head of department.
But, the trade unionists say the signature was a forgery.
Mmemezi, Mnyani and Local Government and Housing spokes-man Victor Moreriane did not respond to enquiries.