Mathale to stay until resignation confirmed

2013-07-15 14:56
Cassel Mathale (Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld)

Cassel Mathale (Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Cassel Mathale will continue working as Limpopo premier until his resignation is confirmed in a sitting of the Limpopo legislature, an official said on Monday.

"What he has done... is write a letter of resignation to the speaker. The legislature has to have a sitting, in which sitting they will confirm his resignation," provincial government spokesperson Tebatso Mabitsela said.

Earlier on Monday, Mathale announced he had handed in his resignation as premier of the Limpopo government after the ANC told him he was being "redeployed".

Mabitsela explained that procedurally, a resignation letter was submitted to speaker Rudolph Phala. A special sitting of the legislature was then called, and the legislature either elected a candidate it had already identified from within, or it could enlist a new member, who was sworn in as premier.

"He has resigned, but he continues as premier until his resignation his confirmed," said Mabitsela.

Because of the separation of powers, he could not say when the special sitting would be held. Neither Phala nor his assistant were immediately available for further details.

Loyal and disciplined ANC member

In a statement earlier, Mathale said: "This is to inform the public that I have handed a letter of resignation as the premier of Limpopo provincial government and as a member of the provincial legislature to the speaker.

"This is in line with the decision of the ANC to recall me as the premier of Limpopo province. "As a loyal and disciplined member of the [ANC] for more than 30 years I have since complied with the decision."

Mathale said his "redeployment" was consistent with the ANC's culture and tradition. He was appointed premier on 9 May 2009.

The Democratic Alliance welcomed Monday's developments and said they were in line with its own unsuccessful efforts at having a debate on a motion of no confidence in Mathale held in the legislature.

"All the efforts to block the DA's motion in the legislature have proved meaningless, as today's move effectively is in agreement with the DA's long-held position," said Desiree van der Walt, the DA's Limpopo legislature caucus leader.

"Mr Mathale's track record in government is so poor that he should have been shown the door a long time ago," she said.

Non-delivery of textbooks

"He oversaw a very corrupt governance in Limpopo, with unfettered squandering of public money. Five departments were placed under administration under him because budgets were abused.

"Furthermore, learners in the province had to endure difficult academic months because textbooks were not delivered on time."

Inkatha Freedom Party Chief Whip Koos van der Merwe said the party hoped the recent "spate" of resignations and the Cabinet reshuffle were a sign the ANC was taking a tougher stand against corruption, abuse of state monies, and incompetence.

Congress of the People acting provincial chairman Patrick Sikhutshi said the resignation was "long overdue", and called on members of Mathale's executive council (MECs) to also resign.

"Should they resign on their own accord, it will go a long way in trying to restore the credibility to their leadership, which is long being damaged," he said.

When contacted earlier on Monday for clarity about reports that Mathale was going to resign, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said he did not know anything about it.

President Jacob Zuma's spokesperson Mac Maharaj said the president did not appoint premiers and he did not know at that stage if the president had been informed.

Mathale: My conscience is clean

In his statement, Mathale listed his achievements during his term of office. These included improving the matric pass rate, building 63 123 houses and 15 bridges, providing 1.2 million households with water and electricity, and expanding access to antiretroviral treatment for people with HIV/Aids.

Mathale was removed as ANC provincial chairperson in April, when the party's national executive committee decided to disband the provincial executive committee.

It did so because of "un-ANC behaviour and institutionalised factional conduct". It was replaced by an ANC provincial task team.

Mathale said in his statement that, contrary to perceptions, he and the provincial government had acted against corruption and had not interfered with investigations.

"At no stage have we attempted to derail or delay any process of investigation or disciplining any irregular conduct," he said.

"Under all material conditions, we have never sought to channel or redirect state resources to pursue any agenda except the noble cause of realising the pledges made to our people.

"Therefore, I also leave the office of the premier with my conscience clean that I have never done anything unlawful and un-ANC... Thank you and goodbye."
Read more on:    anc  |  cassel mathale  |  polokwane  |  politics

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