Mmemezi guilty, but resignation is sufficient

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BALDWIN NDABA

Gauteng Local Government and Housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi was found guilty in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature this morning for crashing a state vehicle and abusing his official credit card.

The legislature’s Privileges and Ethics Committee under Steward Ngwenya tabled its findings this morning saying Mmemezi used the credit card for personal use, which amounted to acts of negligence.

The committee also found that Mmemezi, who resigned earlier this week following revelations that he abused state resources, lied about his involvement in an accident in Umzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal on November 11 last year.

Ngwenya said the committee noted the MEC had stated that he had been driving the official vehicle, a BMW X5, when it crashed.

“Initially, Mmemezi stated that he had driven the vehicle to the Eastern Cape and returned to Joburg with the same vehicle.

“A later admission by Mmemezi reveals that the BMW was left in the care of a sympathetic local government councillor in the Eastern Cape who had sent it for repairs and had later drove it back to Gauteng about four weeks after the accident.”

In their findings, Ngwenya said the committee found that Mmemezi “was very economic with the truth surroundings his involvement in the accident and the subsequent action which took place in KZN on his journey to the Eastern Cape.

“He has misled the legislature and the office of the Integrity commissioner and may have tried to cover up the extent of the damage to his official vehicle. This behaviour is unbecoming of a member of the provincial legislature and in particular a member of the executive council,” Ngwenya said.

In addition the committee found that his use of the credit “amounted to an act of negligence” and the integrity committee’s report demonstrated “the MEC’s lapse of judgment in the usage of the said credit card”.

The committee, however, accepted Mmemezi’s “resignation” as an appropriate punitive action.

According to the legislature’s rules however, the committee must recommend one or more of the following penalties: a reprimand, a fine, a reduction in salary for 15 days or a 15-day suspension.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Legislature Speaker Lindiwe Maseko was cleared on all charges of mis-conduct after her office bought personal items and alcohol using her budget.

The investigations against Maseko followed a report in The Star earlier this year that Maseko did not declare her directorship in the company DCC Catering which was owned by her daughter.

DCC Catering hosted a gala dinner at the Coca-Cola Dome for the legislature after the official opening of the legislature by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane in February.

Maseko was also accused of having spent more than R10 000 on personal groceries.

But the committee found that Maseko did not influence the decision to use DCC catering for the dinner at Coca-Cola Dome.

According to Ngwenya, their sponsor FNB asked for a bigger venue for the event to accommodate their guests and the Coca-Cola Dome was identified.

DCC Catering is the dome’s official catering service.

Ngwenya also found that Maseko did not influence the purchase of goods for her office.


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