What do politicians own?

2011-08-13 17:08

Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale may be the country’s richest ­premier, with more than 20 directorships, a 1 700 hectare farm and a health spa.

City Press obtained Mathale’s declaration of interests through the Institute for Security Studies’ (ISS) recently released Who Owns What? database of politicians’ ­assets and interests.

The database includes declarations by members of Parliament, Cabinet, provincial legislatures and some muncipalities.

Vast farmlands, multimillion- rand properties and lucrative stakes in companies are declared by some of the country’s top ­politicians.

Earlier this year, Mathale told City Press he started registering companies in 1997 and has ­business interests in the property market.

“Our company is very big, it is growing and we wish it could be the biggest property company in South Africa. I can do business with government because I have the right to do that,” he said.

In April last year, Mathale ­declared five properties: a farm and health spa in Letsitele; two houses in Polokwane and a house in Nkowankowa.

He also declared an interest in 16 trading entities.

But Mathale may not be the richest provincial politician in the land.

Cope secretary-general Lyndall Shope-Mafole declared a R200 million stake in pest control ­company Rentokil.

According to her declaration, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille earns a R1.7 million premier’s yearly salary and a nett allowance of R10 000 a month from the DA.

“I do not get a salary from the DA,” Zille said this week.

“The DA paid life insurance for me and my two children, as well as certain expenses related to my ­duties as DA leader.”
Zille says she saves money “in every possible way for the government and the party: I travel economy class, rent D class vehicles and use a 2003 vehicle from the ­government garage pool as my ­official car”.

At home, she and her husband share a 2001 Opel Corsa.

The declarations also reveal some ANC bigwigs own shares in Media24, who are the publishers of City Press, and other media ­companies.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Northern Cape social development MEC Alvin Botes, Gauteng agriculture and rural development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza and former North West premier ­Maureen Modiselle are among the ANC leaders with shares in media companies.

Freedom Front Plus leader and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Pieter Mulder also has shares in Media24 and Caxton, publisher of The Citizen newspaper.

Motsoaledi has an unspecified stake in Media24 worth R10 000 and Botes declared shares in Naspers (the owners of Media24).

Mayathula-Khoza has 430 Media24 shares worth R5 000 while Modiselle owns 2 000 shares worth R15 000 in City Press.

Modiselle is also part of Avusa’s (formerly Johnnic) Ikageng share scheme.

The FF+ leader, who opposes the ANC Youth League’s calls for ­nationalisation, also has shares in mining companies Anglo American, DRD Gold, Goldfields and ­AngloGold Ashanti.

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