General News of Wednesday, 4 October 2006
Reuters' Take on Anane's Case
Ghana minister quits over payments to U.S. mistress
ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana's transport minister has resigned after an inquiry into how he paid his American mistress $100,000 found him guilty of abuse of office, a government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, which acts as an ombudsman in the West African state, had recommended on September 22 that Richard Anane should be sacked. he stepped down late on Tuesday.
This followed 18 months of investigations into how he could afford to send $100,000 to the woman in the United States.
"He tendered his resignation last night and the president has accepted it," Oboshie Sai-Cofie, deputy minister for information, told Reuters.
"He's decided to contest the commission's findings in court and the best way to proceed, he believes, is to step aside," she added.
Anane's troubles began after his relationship with U.S. health worker Alexandria O'Brien, who lives in Virginia and with whom he had a son, turned sour. The two met at an HIV conference in 2001 when Anane, a medical doctor, was health minister.
The opposition has criticised him for setting a poor example for young people as he had not used a condom, despite leading a national campaign on HIV awareness.
South Africa's former deputy president Jacob Zuma was forced to apologise earlier this year when it emerged during his trial on rape charges that he had unprotected sex with an HIV positive woman, even though he had led the country's anti- AIDS campaign while in government. He was acquitted of rape.
The Ghanaian minister's resignation comes amid another high-profile corruption and drugs investigation which has shaken the political establishment in the former British colony.
Five policemen, including one senior officer, are amongst 18 suspects charged with narcotics-related offences after a major drugs shipment disappeared from under police surveillance.