Brian Hlongwa steps down as ANC chief whip in Gauteng legislature

The ANC's chief whip in the Gauteng legislature Brian Hlongwa has requested to be relieved of his duties.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Hlongwa said he requested the party "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".

Hlongwa was implicated along with other officials in a report by the specialised investigative unit (SIU) into corrupt activities to the tune of R1.2bn during his tenure as health MEC.

Read: Gauteng ANC asks for time to deal with controversial PEC members

"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 programme to unite, renew and create jobs.

"I am deeply honoured to have served and led the ANC caucus in the Gauteng legislature," he said.  

On Sunday, the ANC Gauteng PEC met to deliberate over the outcomes of its integrity commission’s investigation into Hlongwa, Qedani Mahlangu and Simon Mofokeng.

A decision on the outcome of that meeting has not been announced yet.

Resignation welcomed

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance has welcomed Hlongwa's resignation, saying he should now be prosecuted.

"This is long overdue and is no doubt due to the ANC feeling vulnerable because of the upcoming elections," said DA's Jack Bloom. 

"But there were many previous disclosures that implicated him in horrendous corruption which continues to cripple the Gauteng Health Department.

"He has been protected for a long time and it is disgraceful that he served so long in a senior ANC position despite the corruption cloud over his head," Bloom added. 

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