McDonald's flurry costs Mmemezi his job

Gauteng's minister of local government and housing Humphrey Mmemezi (right) will be dismissed by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane upon her return from China, according to sources. (Gallo)

Gauteng's minister of local government and housing Humphrey Mmemezi (right) will be dismissed by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane upon her return from China, according to sources. (Gallo)

Mmemezi will be dismissed as the provincial minister for local government and housing when Gauteng's Premier Nomvula Mokonyane returns from an official visit to China, sources close to the premier told the Mail & Guardian on Monday.

"Of course it's true. She will be dismissing him when she gets back," said the source, who requested anonymity.

The Star reported on Monday that Mmemezi was about to be dismissed for the abuse of state funds and for damaging a government vehicle.

It is claimed Mmemezi used government funds to buy a painting – worth R10 000 – from a McDonald's in Pretoria. 

Mmemezi was also linked to an accident involving West Rand teenager Thomas Ferreira, who was hit by an official Gauteng government vehicle in November 2011.

Officially, the office of the premier is refusing to comment.

"We are not commenting on this at this point. This is pure speculation and we will not entertain any further discussions about this now," Xoli Mngamgi, Mokonyane's spokesperson told the M&G.

But, Mngamgi said Mokonyane would "address the matter" when she returns from official business in China.

Mmemezi's spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa would not respond to questions posed by the M&G on the ongoing controversy, as the minister was on official business in the Eastern Cape and could not be contacted.

According to reports, Mokonyane has the full backing of ANC provincial structures in Gauteng as the party "wished to clean up its image".

Mmemezi serves as the deputy secretary of the ANC in Gauteng. 

"We also won't be commenting at this stage, as we will wait for the premier to make an announcement – should there be one," said Dumisa Ntuli, the spokesperson for the party in the province, told the M&G.

The Democratic Alliance in Gauteng welcomed the reports.

"The premier should fire him from China.
Mmemezi represents everything wrong with the ANC's policy of cadre deployment, where incompetents are placed in office and retained even as scandal rages around them," said DA Gauteng caucus leader Jack Bloom.

Nickolaus Bauer

Nickolaus Bauer

Nickolaus Bauer is the Mail & Guardian's jack of all trades news reporter that chases down stories ranging from politics and sports to big business and social justice. Armed with an iPad, SLR camera, camcorder and dictaphone, he aims to fight ignorance and pessimism through written words, photographs and videos. He believes South Africa could be the greatest country in the world if only her citizens would give her a chance to flourish instead of dwell on the negativity. When he's not begging his sub-editors for an extra twenty minutes after deadline, he's also known to dabble in the occasional poignant column that will leave you mulling around in the depths of your psyche. The quintessential workaholic, you can also catch him doing sports on the weekday breakfast show on SAfm and presenting the SAfm Sports Special over the weekend. Read more from Nickolaus Bauer

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