FORMER Gauteng local government and housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi came under fire on Friday following damning findings against him for irregular and negligent use of his official vehicle and credit card.

A Gauteng legislature committee found he had breached its code of conduct but his resignation as MEC earlier this week was sufficient sanction.

But this was not the end of Mr Mmemezi's troubles, amid a push from the opposition that he step down as member of the legislature as well as an ongoing case of improper conduct against him in Mogale City.

Mr Mmemezi's case has been closely watched for clues as to whether the government was prepared to take tough action on improper behaviour by public representatives. It was also a test of the ability of the African National Congress (ANC) integrity committee in Gauteng to take action against dishonest party members.

The Gauteng provincial legislature's privileges and ethics standing committee on Friday found that Mr Mmemezi had been "very economical with the truth" surrounding his involvement in an accident involving his official vehicle in KwaZulu-Natal last year.

"He has misled the legislature and the office of the integrity commissioner and may have tried to cover up the extent of damage to his official vehicle," said committee chairman Stewart Ngwenya.

The MEC initially said he had driven the vehicle to the Eastern Cape and returned to Johannesburg with the same vehicle. He later admitted the vehicle was left for repairs in the Eastern Cape and driven back to Johannesburg by a public official a month after the accident, said Mr Ngwenya.

He said Mr Mmemezi's use of the official "credit card for personal use amounted to an act of negligence" and a "lapse of judgment".

Despite having breached the legislature code of conduct, Mr Ngwenya said the committee was satisfied that his "loss of office was an appropriate sanction".

The committee recommended that the Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane review the ministerial handbook to ensure effective and efficient use of state resources.

But questions have been asked whether it was not improper for him to serve as a public representative after he was found guilty of "behaviour unbecoming of a member of the provincial legislature".

However, the house did not have the powers to remove him as member of the legislature.

Mr Mmemezi resigned as local government and housing MEC on Wednesday. Sources in the provincial government said the findings of another investigation against him for bringing the premier's office into disrepute had been handed over to the Gauteng ANC.

The ANC provincial executive committee was expected to meet this weekend, where a report of its integrity commission on Mr Mmemezi will be discussed.

Speaker of the provincial legislature Lindiwe Maseko said on Friday she had received a letter of resignation and apology from Mr Mmemezi.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng leader Jack Bloom said on Friday Mr Mmemezi should "do the honourable thing" and step down as member of the legislature.

Mr Bloom cited allegations against Mr Mmemezi in Mogale City as an indication that his credibility in the legislature would be undermined.

ANC Gauteng chief whip Brian Hlongwa said Mr Mmemezi had "reflected and taken an honourable decision to resign".

Mr Mmemezi was accused of setting up a trade union shop steward to be fired when he was a human resource official at in Mogale City municipality, before he was appointed MEC in 2010.

In another matter, Gauteng legislature speaker Lindiwe Maseko was found not guilty of improper conduct, following allegations that of influencing the awarding of a catering tender to a company owned by her daughter, as well as buying alcohol with public funds.

stones@bdfm.co.za