Too humble to seek a private jet – North West premier

2016-12-09 11:41
Supra Mahumapelo

Supra Mahumapelo

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North West – North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo says he is considering taking legal action against those claiming he wants to use taxpayers’ money to buy a private jet.

"I don’t know what people want from me, I am the only premier in the country using cars that were used by former premiers," he said.

The DA in the North West accused him of having delusions of aviation grandeur, claiming Mahumapelo was like President Jacob Zuma who believed that public money was available for their own benefit.

But the premier denies the claims, painting himself as a humble man who had no desires for a lavish lifestyle, let alone a private jet.

"I am currently staying at my house in the township, I have not moved to the premier’s residence because I want to save state money," he told News24.

Mahumapelo said he’d previously stopped attempts by the Public Works department to upgrade security at his home.

"They wanted to put [up] a guard house, I asked them how much it would cost, they said over R500 000, I chased them away," he said. "I spoke to my family, we built a guard house, it cost us R38 000."

He added that he had refused a generator from Public Works to kick in during load shedding, claiming he would use a candle like other families left in the dark.

Legal options against DA

The Sunday Times reported that the process to procure an aircraft started in September and was discussed at a provincial cabinet meeting in October.

Mahumapelo said despite going to the legislature to explain the need to acquire a plane for government, the DA was adamant it was for private use.

"A person who does [these] things can’t buy a jet. I would have long demonstrated that I have [a] love for expensive things," he argued.

He said the time had come for the province to determine whether or not it was getting value from a deal it had made with SA Express, which transports people between Johannesburg and Mafikeng as well as Pilanesberg and Cape Town.

A report on whether it’s better for the province to lease a rental or buy its own aircraft is expected to be released in February. In the meantime, Mahumapelo said he is exploring legal options against the DA, stating that he seeks to act in both his private and official capacity.

"If we were to go with the option to buy an aircraft, it will not be for Mahumapelo," said the premier.

"I will not be calling to them to say come pick me up, as the DA wants to project."

He said the idea was part of wanting to promote tourism in his province and to connect locals with the international world.

"In the future, we are analysing whether or not we should introduce routes between Victoria Falls and Sun City, Sun City and Durban, India and Sun City or maybe China and Sun City," he said.

The North West premier insists his intentions were pure, but had however been twisted to make it seem as if he wants a private jet for himself.

Read more on:    da  |  supra mahumapelo  |  mahikeng  |  government spending

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