DA plans new motion of no confidence against Cassel Mathale

2013-06-19 13:04

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The DA plans to file another motion of no confidence against Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale after reports of alleged travel abuse.

“Tomorrow, the DA will make a formal appeal to the speaker, Rudolph Phala, to review his refusal to allow a DA motion of no confidence against Premier Mathale to be debated,” said Democratic Alliance Limpopo legislature caucus leader Desiree van der Walt in a statement today.

Today, The Star reported that Mathale allegedly spent thousands of rands flying “short” distances in chartered helicopters. Last month, he spent R60 000 travelling 161km, according to the newspaper.

“We believe that the speaker now has no choice but to allow the no-confidence debate to remove Premier Mathale in the light of ongoing abuses,” said Van der Walt.

In May, the African National Congress caucus in the Limpopo legislature rejected an attempt to debate a motion of no confidence in Mathale. The motion came after five provincial government departments were placed under administration because of corruption and gross violation of the Public Finance Management Act.

Mathale was stripped of his position as ANC provincial chairman when the party’s national executive committee decided to disband the provincial executive committee in April. A task team had since run the party in the province.

Mathale also allegedly rented a helicopter for a 200km trip between Polokwane and Musina in January, costing R82 000.

Limpopo government spokesman Tebatso Mabitsela confirmed to the publication that Mathale spent taxpayers’ money on the two helicopter trips.

Mabitsela said it was impossible for Mathale to travel between the two places due to the distance and time pressure. He said the premier had to attend two “important occasions” last month.

The Star reported that Mathale was driven to Ga-Mashashane village from Polokwane to open the provincial house of traditional leaders.

Thereafter, he flew to Elim near Louis Trichardt, about 100km from Polokwane, to join his MECs at a public participation meeting, said Mabitsela.

Van der Walt said the money could have been better used.

“The money Premier Mathale blows on helicopter flights could have been used to purchase textbooks, increase norms and standard funds to schools or provide water and proper sanitation for the citizens of Limpopo.”

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