Brian Hlongwa steps down as Gauteng ANC chief whip
Johannesburg - Chief whip of the African National Congress (ANC) in the Gauteng Legislature, Brian Hlongwa, resigned on Tuesday.
This comes as the party's integrity commission was expected to table a report on Tuesday recommending that Hlongwa and former health MEC Qedani Mahlangu be expelled from the Gauteng executive.
According to the Special Investigative Unit's report, Hlongwa was implicated in corruption of R1.2 billion when he was Health MEC from 2006 to 2009, while Mahlangu was implicated in the Life Esidimeni tragedy that led to 144 deaths in the scandal around inadequate health facilities in the province.
In a brief statement, Hlongwa said that he had asked the ANC to relieve him of his duties due to the dark cloud of corruption allegations hanging over his head.
"I, Thamsanqa Brian Hlongwa, have requested the African National Congress (ANC) to relieve me from the position and duties of the Chief Whip in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) at a date to be determined by the ANC in Gauteng," he said.
"This decision has been informed by the need to resolve the eight year-long accusations, without having the matter aired in the courts of the country. Furthermore, the African National Congress is committed to natural justice and my continued stay as the chief whip in the GPL would have distracted the movement from its task of mobilising our people behind a program to unite, renew and create jobs."
Hlongwa said he was honoured to have served and lead the ANC Caucus in the Gauteng Legislature. and said he will not be communicating any further on the matter.
Hlongwa has always denied the allegations of receiving kickbacks from certain businessmen and maintained his innocence. In 2014, the national director of public prosecutions issued an application to seize assets suspected to be the proceeds of crime from Hlongwa and 3P Consulting, relating to dealings with the Gauteng department of health.
African News Agency (ANA)