MEC’S BIG MAC PAINTING MUST BE PROBED

Fred Nel MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Local Government

Answers are needed why Gauteng Local Government and Housing MEC, Humphrey Mmemezi apparently used his official government credit card to buy a R10 000 painting through a McDonald’s restaurant in Silverton, Pretoria in October last year.

Media reports today indicate that R10 000 from McDonald’s Nedbank account was transferred into the Nedbank account of Art Unusual, an artwork shop in Pretoria, in order to pay for a painting from the shop’s Kempton Park branch.

The DA has been informed that this painting hangs in Mmemezi’s office.

Mmemezi has delayed answering my questions in the Gauteng Legislature on his credit card expenditure, no doubt because much of it cannot be justified. He is entrusted with a R50 000 a month credit limit which amounts to R600 000 of taxpayers’ money annually in order to assist him in executing his duties. He must account to the legislature and taxpayers how he used this credit card in furthering his duties as a MEC.

Mmemezi must make a full disclosure about the use of his government credit card by answering the questions put to him. If he has nothing to hide there should be no problem for him to come clean in this matter.

We need to know if he abused his credit card in any manner. It is very strange that anyone would spend R10 000 at a McDonald restaurant. This would buy 256 Big Mac burger meals with large chips and coke. Buying a painting in this way is highly irregular.

According to the Legislature’s rules, he will have to explain at the sitting on 29 May 2012 why he has not responded to my questions in due time. I call on the Speaker of the Legislature to show no more leniency in this matter.

I will refer this to the Auditor-General for investigation if Mmemezi does not disclose full details to the Legislature.

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