Bloemfontein – The DA in the Free State on Thursday accused Premier Ace Magashule of "abusing his powers". This came after Magashule handed over six brand new Mercedes-Benzes to Free State traditional leaders. According to DA member of the National Council of Provinces Roy Jankielsohn, the R3.2m spent on the cars could have assisted victims of drought. "During a time where the Free State suffers under the yoke of the worst drought in decades, an ever escalating water crisis and crippling unemployment, Premier Magashule opted to purchase luxury German sedans in a bid to secure rural votes for the ANC next year," he said in a statement. Jankielsohn said he was disappointed that traditional leaders in the province had abandoned their responsibilities to the people who "continue to suffer in poverty and deprivation". "The DA calls on the people of the Free State to reject the continued abuse of power and public funds by the ANC and their cronies."Asked for comment, the premier’s office said they would respond at a later stage. Meanwhile, chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders, King Lelika Moloi, dismissed allegations that the vehicles served as a bribe to secure votes for next year’s local elections. "This is not a bribe, but our right and we are grateful for the cars," he said.