‘Wrong of MEC to wear ANC T-shirt’

2011-04-05 10:43

The Democratic Alliance (DA) today welcomed the ruling that it was wrong for Gauteng health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe to have worn an ANC T-shirt at an official visit to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

The ruling came after DA provincial caucus leader Jack Bloom laid the complain with the Gauteng Legislature’s Integrity Commissioner Jules Browde following the visit on March 6.

In her report on the issue Browde said: “When an MEC is on his/her official duties he/she is the representative of all the members of the legislature and consequently all the parties they represent.

It is, therefore, in my opinion, improper for an MEC in those circumstances to indicate publicly that he/she represents a particular party in carrying out his/her duties.”

Mekgwe wore her ANC T-shirt on a visit to inspect two CAT scanners recently installed at the hospital in Soweto.

The scanners were ordered last year from Japan as part of the R157 million project to equip Bara.

They were delivered to the hospital in March.

Browde’s report said Mekgwe had told him that she was aware of his previous ruling on this issue and had packed a change of clothes to replace the ANC T-shirt which she used to attend voter registration in Carletonville.

She discovered after she left Carletonville that she had inadvertently failed to put the clothing in her car, so had no option but to wear the T-shirt.

“In the circumstances and particularly because the MEC was and is aware of her duty in terms of my ruling, that she agrees with and accepts it, I recommend that no further steps need to be taken,” Browde said.

Jack Bloom said it was important that the principle of separating party and state was reaffirmed in the ruling.

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