/ 13 July 2012

Mmemezi guilty of contravening legislature’s code of conduct

The ANC has implored parties to refrain from scoring points over the resignation of Humphrey Mmemezi but the DA is pushing for more steps against him.
The ANC has implored parties to refrain from scoring points over the resignation of Humphrey Mmemezi but the DA is pushing for more steps against him.

Former Gauteng local government and housing minister Humphrey Mmemezi has been found guilty of contravening the provincial legislature's Code of Conduct and Ethics.

The findings were announced in an integrity committee report presented to a special sitting of the legislature on Friday morning.

They related to Mmemezi having used a government credit card and allegations that he covered up an accident involving a government vehicle.

The committee found that Mmemezi's resignation as the provincial minister of local government and housing was sufficient sanction for his actions.

The report was adopted unanimously by the legislature, though the Democratic Alliance (DA) made a declaration that other allegations against Mmemezi regarding his time with the Mogale City municipality and his time as provincial minister should be investigated.

Mmemezi quit on Wednesday.

In a statement, he apologised for personal purchases made on a government credit card.

"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 [provincial minister]," he said.

'Score game'
ANC Gauteng chief whip Brian Hlongwa said in a statement: "We urge everyone, especially the opposition within the legislature not to use this matter as a political score game."

DA caucus leader Jack Bloom said allegations of irregular activities during Mmemezi's time at Mogale City municipality should also be investigated.

Hlongwa welcomed the report and said Mmemezi's decision to resign was honourable.

"He has unequivocally apologised to the party, public and the premier for the transgressions and we respect him for illustrating such stature in difficult times."

Hlongwa said the ANC remained committed to serving the public diligently and with conviction.

"This has been a difficult time for all members and we are glad that the matter has been laid to rest."

Unfit to hold office
Bloom said while the legislature did not have the power to remove Mmemezi as a member, the former provincial minister was unfit to hold any public office.

"If Mmemezi had any real integrity and honour he would have resigned from his elected position."

He questioned whether the ANC was serious about rooting out maladministration, as Mmemezi remained the ANC's deputy secretary in Gauteng.

Cope caucus leader Ndizipho Kalipa said her party was satisfied by the legislature's investigation of Mmemezi, and his resignation.

They were concerned it took Mmemezi so long to do the right thing.

Kalipa said the use of a government credit card for private use was unjustifiable to the citizens the legislature served, and as public representatives, such behaviour could not be tolerated.

It was unfortunate that the money Mmemezi spent was only reimbursed after knowledge of his spending became public, she said. – Sapa