Mmemezi 'does the honourable thing'

2012-07-11 14:42
Humphrey Mmemezi. Picture:  Beeld

Humphrey Mmemezi. Picture: Beeld

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Johannesburg - Controversial Gauteng local government and housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi quit on Wednesday.

In a statement, he apologised for making personal purchases on a government credit card and said he had paid the money back.

"After consultation with my organisation, through the ANC integrity committee, and the provincial office bearers, I have decided that the most honourable thing to do under these circumstances is to step down from the executive council as the MEC."

False allegations

Mmemezi, who was in office for 18 months, said some of the allegations levelled at him recently were "patently false" and he intended taking legal steps regarding these.

"For instance, the allegation that I didn't report the car accident [in KwaZulu-Natal in December] remains false. Some of the expenditure items published as costs incurred by me, such as the trip to London, are also false.

"All the allegations about my work in Mogale City are also blatantly untrue," he said.

"There are, however, decisions that I deeply regret with regard to some of the personal purchases I made using the departmental credit card. From the briefing I received from officials in my department on the use of the corporate credit card and the ambiguity of the Ministerial Handbook, I got the impression that I could use the credit card for both official and personal purchases, as long as I could repay the department where there are personal expenses.

"It is for this reason that I deeply regret that I used the credit card to pay for the suits in India, the groceries in the local grocery store, and the artwork in the office," he said.

Error of judgement

"These purchases were an error of judgement on my part for [which] I take full responsibility and would want to apologise profusely to the people of Gauteng.

"I have fully refunded government for these expenditure items long before these matters were in the public domain."

He continued: "...With the benefit of hindsight, I should have exercised more caution and prudence in matters of the use of the departmental corporate credit card."

He would continue being a member of the Gauteng provincial legislature.

"I have learnt a great deal from this mistake and will certainly ensure that it is not repeated," Mmemezi said.

His resignation comes after a series of articles in The Star which included allegations that he bought a painting using the government credit card from a fast food restaurant in Silverton, Pretoria, and that he allegedly inflated his daughter's salary while he was human resources manager with the Mogale City municipality and she a junior member of staff.

His official vehicle was involved in an accident outside Krugersdorp in November, where teenager Thomas Ferreira was hit. It was involved in a second accident in KwaZulu-Natal in December 2011.

Read more on:    anc  |  humphrey mmemezi  |  johannesburg  |  politics  |  government spending

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