Picture: Reuters/Susana Bates
Picture: Reuters/Susana Bates

MEC’s artwork splurge at McDonald’s

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published May 21, 2012

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Gauteng MEC for Local Government and Housing, Humphrey Mmemezi, used his government-issued credit card to buy an artwork worth R10 000 from burger chain McDonald’s.

The initial transaction was disguised to indicate the buying of R10 000 worth of burgers.

The R10 000 would buy 256 Big Mac burger meals with large chips and a Coke at R38.95 a piece.

Documents seen by the Daily News sister paper, The Star, indicate that Mmemezi used his government-issued FNB credit card at the McDonald’s in Silverton, Pretoria, last October.

The money was authorised into a Nedbank account belonging to the restaurant.

The same amount was apparently transferred to another Nedbank account belonging to Art Unusual, an artwork shop in Pretoria.

Art Unusual manager, Alfred Addo, confirmed that Mmemezi had bought the artwork from the shop, but said: “It was not for his personal use, but was for his office.”

Addo insisted that the department, not Mmemezi, had paid him, but failed to reveal how the transaction had been concluded, saying it had been handled by his accountant.

Mmemezi has a R50 000 limit on his credit card.

He earns more than R1 million annually and enjoys the benefit of a medical aid and car allowance.

Mmemezi’s office has been unable to explain this McDonald’s expenditure.

In March, the DA’s spokesman on local government and housing, Fred Nel, sent a question relating to the McDonald’s expenditure to the Speaker of the legislature.

Mmemezi started to pay back money used via the credit card after the DA submitted questions to the legislature about his credit card splurge.

He made two payments this year. On April 21 he made an initial cash deposit of R33 000, and another payment of R40 000 on the same day.

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