Mmemezi must answer – COSATU

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) said it is concerned about the damning allegations made against Humphrey Mmemezi, Gauteng MEC for local government and housing, of misusing public funds for personal use, spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

Craven said that the allegations are very serious and needed to be investigated. “We want the public to be told whether or not they are true, and if proved true, for disciplinary and/or legal action to be taken against him,” he said.

The Star newspaper reported that Mmemezi spent a total amount of R 73 239 of public money to sponsor this lavish life, all in September 2011. “The Star newspaper alleges that on 25 September 2011 Mmemezi spent R22 839 for clothes in India with his government credit card, another R31 000 on “party wear” and suits in Pramanik on 30 September and R4900 and R4500 for clothing at other shops in India,” Craven noted.

According to the newspaper report, Mmemezi also “used the same credit card to purchase an artwork worth R10 000 from fast-food outlet McDonalds, a transaction which he allegedly disguised as a purchase for hamburgers”.

Craven added that there is another allegation that Mmemezi used his government credit card to pay for a R400 overnight booking in the Cedar Lodge hotel in Krugersdorp – less than 5km from his home – on 17 January 2012. “There have allegedly been similar bookings at hotels in Johannesburg, Midrand and Pretoria – despite these hotels being a few kilometres away from his house and that he is chauffeur-driven”, he said.

As a result of this newspaper report and the allegations, Craven says COSATU is demanding a response from the MEC and “a full, thorough and independent investigation” into these allegations of abuse of public funds.