Limpopo Premier Mathale resigns

Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale announced in a statement issued by the Limpopo Office of the Premier on Monday, 15 July, that he has resigned as Premier and member of the provincial legislature.

He informed the public that he resigned after the ANC had made the decision to recall him.

Mathale said in the statement that he complied with the decision, saying that he has been a loyal and disciplined member of the party for more than 30 years.

Mathale said he did his best with the help of the government leadership since 2009 to improve and change the living conditions of the people in line with ANC policy.

Mathale’s leadership has been shrouded in controversy since his appointment as Premier in May 2009 — from five departments in the province being put under administration by national government under his watch, to the alleged wasting of tax payers’ money on personal entertainment. He also faced numerous allegations and marches against him by various parties including the Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) and the DA, accusing him of corruption and violation of the Public Finance Management Act.

According to media reports, ANC Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe contacted Mathale while he was on holiday in Italy last week and told him to return home. Mantashe confirmed Mathale’s redeployment to the National Assembly, and the Limpopo Provincial Legislature reportedly said it will swear in a new Premier as soon as a judge is available.

The chairman of the ANC’s Limpopo Provincial Task Team, Philemon Mdaka, told the media that a new Premier may bring in new MEC’s, which means there may still be more political casualties.

According to media reports, South Africa’s ambassador to the Ukraine and a Sekhukhuni District resident, Stanley Mathabatha will be sworn in as Mathale’s successor.

He is the second Limpopo Premier not to finish his term, following his predecessor, Sello Moloto, who was forced to step down in January 2009 after losing the provincial ANC chairmanship to Mathale.

Meanwhile, the DA in Limpopo wants Education MEC Dickson Masemola to also follow Mathale’ suit and resign. The DA said that if the move to oust Mathale was about the recognition of his failure to deliver, then Masemola epitomises that failure more than any other person in the provincial executive.

“Under him learners in Limpopo had to be taught without textbooks for two consecutive years. He downplayed the magnitude of the textbook problem by shifting blame. He also failed to pay the norms and standards funding to schools on time thereby causing unnecessary delays of the midyear exams in the province,” said the DA’s Member of Parliament and provincial leader, Jacques Smalle. — Lizzy Bapela: LiN NEWS/Die Pos