Politicians raking in big bucks

2011-08-14 19:00

Johannesburg - Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale may be the country’s richest ­premier, with more than 20 directorships, a 1 700ha 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.

Cope competition

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

Cope secretary general Lyndall Shope-Mafole declared a R200m stake in pest control ­company Rentokil.

According to her declaration, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille earns a R1.7m 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.

“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.

  • Miesies - 2011-08-14 10:38

    I am so glad that not everybody is sleeping like the lions in the mighty jungle.

      beicime - 2011-09-29 08:44

      Welcome to Africa, the basket continent.

  • Miesies - 2011-08-14 10:42

    Conflict of interest. "“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,” Where is that right stipulated in his contract? The next investigation should focus on the effectivity of the Premiers porfolio.

  • Miesies - 2011-08-14 10:46

    Everybody should invest in shares. The more investers the better for the stock market The question is how it was obtained? I would suggest that the Premier start considering stockexchange listings. What time of the day does he squeeze in for his official civil servant obligations? When he tenders on more contracts with the government?

  • Mmoledi - 2011-08-14 11:53

    Fighting for political power is all about that, bread and butter and nothing else all politicians are the same corrupt.They are accusing Malema where as they also have their own interest. Who is who then? From big to small parties there is nothing difference, all are corrupt and in politics for their own benefit and not the nation they supposed to serve, so DA,ID,PAC,COPE and others must stop accusing ANC officials because they are the same they are other side of the same coin.

      swimma - 2011-08-15 07:57

      Not really. As the claimed liberators of this country, should the ANC not be held accountable for their actions today? Or does their 'struggle' entitle the cadres to steal and rob you blind while you blindly follow them?

      Zebelon - 2011-08-15 21:25

      Mmoledi, there is a difference between politicians who are in business and politicians who are involved in corruption. If you know any politicians in DA,ID,PAC and COPE, identify them; some of those in the ANC have been identified and are being investigated, some have been charged, and others sentenced. Get your facts straight.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-14 14:00

    Aaah! Load the pockets comrades! There is much more for us!

  • Anonymus - 2011-08-14 19:16

    i wish i black so i could put my grubby mitts in the cookie jar as well :(

  • Macho Mike - 2011-08-14 19:16

    ......................./´¯/) ......................,/¯..// ...................../..../ / ............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`•¸ ........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\ ........('(...´(..´......,~/'...') .........\.................\/..../ ..........''...\.......... _.•´ ............\..............( ..............\.............\ Got to hand it to these corrupt politicians............

  • Boitshepo - 2011-08-14 19:21


  • Boxxer - 2011-08-14 19:37

    Would you rather visit Limpopo or the Western Cape?

  • AA - 2011-08-14 19:40

    If you look at many Western countries, such as Sweden, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc you will find that politicians do not earn that much. Some presidents do not even own a car and catch the train to work. The reason i mention this is that many of these countries are very wealthy but also countries which care for the well being of the citizens through good social programs. It is ironic that in a country such as South Africa where there is poverty, unemployment, declining education and high crime that leaders see fit to pay themselves such huge salaries and receive so many benefits at the expense of the taxpayer. Then want more tax money to support the necessary social programs for the country. Barrack Obama does not receive a house paid for by the taxpayer when he retires, he needs to go out there and make is own money after being president. Politicians should not be in the highest earners of the country, their duty is a patriotic one and paid for by the taxpayers. More respect should be shown to people who elect them. Furthermore it should based on performance and many of South Africa's politicians are under performing lets be honest.

      Neil - 2011-08-14 20:31

      You call the ANC Lead government politicians? I call them a bunch of clowns at a McDonalds party. The entire lot of them are a disgrace to SA.

      AA - 2011-08-14 20:51

      I must admit Neil, i would be ashamed to earn so much when so many people are going without the basics in the country. It is a disgrace that after all the years of struggle there is still only a elite few benefiting from the current political dispensation.

      Muzi - 2011-08-15 07:47

      New Zealand and Australia are in the far east, not west. Or west means white to you???

      SalesMon - 2011-08-15 08:09

      Seems that Helen isn't doing too badly herself! 1.7 bar is almost a decent tyre pressure ... So let's not bash the ANC politicans only, on this basis. AA, I think its fair to say that politicians the world over are in the top earning ranks, including the PMs of UK, Scandinavia ... suspect that Barrack may be 100% OK when he leaves office ... probably naive to think that SA is the only country with politicians that get paid well? I agree 100% on the performance-basis for remuneration - democratic process should dictate that if the masses are unhappy with the performance of a politician, they would be removed from office.

      Satellite - 2011-08-15 08:28

      "Barrack Obama does not receive a house paid for by the taxpayer when he retires, he needs to go out there and make is own money after being president." Wrong. Past US presidents receive a pension for life, an office and staff too. Current pensions amounts to about $200,000 per year. They also receive secret service protection for them and their family for ten years.

      capetonian - 2011-08-15 12:23

      Well, when you leave the door to the sweet shop open, the kids are going to help themselves...

      Zebelon - 2011-08-15 21:31

      Look at Zille if you want to see a good example.

  • Eric West - 2011-08-14 19:44

    Where are all the black trolls who always claim that the media belongs to white colonials only? BWHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

      crackerr - 2011-08-14 20:31

      WHERE ARE THEY? One explanation must be that they are not at their "work" stations. It is not Monday yet. It is not possible to divide the economy and so-called ownership according to race any longer. Some very big lies are being circulated and re-circulated by the clever grabbers so they can grab more and get more political support. It is time for some honest assessments of who owns what in this country. Especially land. It is most likely a lie that most of the land is in exclusive white possession. We need an honest land audit. Why are we talking race? The ANC and its Alliance Partners and a certain ANC substructure of old youths insist that's how we are and how we will stay: different races which makes it possible to blame some races for the failings of the other races. Some brutal honesty required.

  • Hamilton Ngwenya - 2011-08-14 19:46

    If the there are no irregularities on his fortunes; let the man be, aseblief tog! Who doesn't want to be rich? Just curious.e rich? Just curious.

      Doublepost - 2011-08-14 19:51

      I think you missed the part where he is "making" all the money through deals with government as a PREMIER of a province. Which is a MASSIVE conflict of interest, in other words, BEING CORRUPT. Listen, if you make your money from working hard and building a business, no one has an issue. If you "make" your money through tenders whilst working as a politician, everyone HATES you, since we all know you are as corrupt as they come.

      Boitshepo - 2011-08-14 20:05

      True Hamilton who doesnt want to be rich? and yes sure nothing wrong at all with being rich right HOWEVER these are our so called AFRICAN LEADERS the ones who always hide behind apartheid, so many people are still suffering, alot of our brothers and sisters die morning noon and night of hunger, poverty its taking its toll in SA while all them leaders are living a luxuries stress free life at our their wealth honestly fairly earned? If Helen can live such a HUMBLE life why cant the rest do the same? Desmond Tutu now i know this is what you were referring to? Do our leaders really care?!

      AA - 2011-08-14 20:54

      Hamilton. Then go out into industry and become the next Bill Gates or Richard Branson, but not at the expense of the taxpayer. Never at the expense of the taxpayer. It shows total disrespect voters, taxpayers and citizens of the country.

      Netherlands - 2011-08-15 08:06

      HELEN ZILLE IS A TRUE EXAMPLE OF A CIVIL SERVANT!!!!!!!!!!!!! "...She shares a 2001 Corsa with her husband.." Bet you Helen has a WONDERFUL NIGHTS SLEEP TOO!!!!!

      SalesMon - 2011-08-15 08:18

      Hamilton, you are 100% right. Should politicans not be able to make money & be wealthy? Surely it's a fundamental right of any citizen in SA to make money? If people think that we should only have policitians doing the job for "the love of it" I think we might have a very, very poorly run country. As for gaining wealth through ones political connections - this is something that ALL politicians around the world are very likely to do. It comes with being well connected - any political network is going to provide opportunities to meet up and gain advantage from wealthy people ... it's naive to think that this is not the case. We need to spend more time holding people to ACCOUNT in the event that they are PROVEN to be corrupt, or when they aren't doing their jobs, and less time whining about they have more money than us.

  • Hamilton Ngwenya - 2011-08-14 20:07

    Jealousy kills, you know!

  • Amani - 2011-08-14 20:12

    Can't people invest their money?

      Anonymus - 2011-08-14 20:17

      that is not investment, but day light robbery from the people of south africa!

  • Leviathan - 2011-08-14 20:23

    i cant im surprised about this. TIA!!

  • braamc - 2011-08-14 20:25

    Ja and Limpopo one of the worst provinces together with Mpumalanga. Born thieves criminals, look who is his best friend comrade Julius stupid Malema

  • Common_Sense - 2011-08-14 20:27

    R10k and R15k worth of shares? Wow, these guys are rolling in it? Seriously that is peanuts in shares. Or is each share worth that much? Come on writer, get your facts straight.

      SalesMon - 2011-08-15 08:20

      I agree. I suspect that these shareholdings are not going to make a massive difference in respect of voting rights at the next Media24 AGM.

      Martin - 2011-09-29 09:48

      Shares in Naspers are around the R300 mark per share. So it would mean that he owns approximately 50 shares. As you say, "peanuts". Nonetheless, ownership is ownership. When someone is referring to the "owners" of the Media, they are referring to each and every shareholder. Saying that owning 50 shares in a company does not matter is similar to saying that a single vote in an democratic election does not matter. Essentially your argument would be against the validity of democracy.

  • CPII - 2011-08-14 20:28

    Limpompo....don't you just love the place.

  • Peg-Leg-Sven - 2011-08-14 20:30

    It is no wonder that so many comments that show up the anc's corruption and hypocrisy are deleted so regularly. Now we know.

  • Ebraheem86 - 2011-08-14 20:33

    Just read article, first few comments.. Guys lets not battle each other! If you read the article thoroughly DONT you see how much politicians have shares in media? How you'll think they get so MUCH PUBLICITY?!! Cause they own it... So the right to knowledge. Is it really right? Doubt it, cause what goes to the press is what they dictate,cause they partly own it....

      SalesMon - 2011-08-15 08:21

      Nonsense. Grow up.

  • GT - 2011-08-14 20:35

    Nothing wrong with rich people being in politics, but there is a problem with people making money from inside politics. The ANC fails to see the difference.

  • crackerr - 2011-08-14 21:07

    On the subject of riches. Certain politicians in this country do not hesitate to blame whites for the past and how they were unfair in dealings with blacks where it came to commerce. The uneven value - naturally in today's values - of goods and land bartered. We do no hear the ANC taking a position against such ridiculous accusations. So then, how about the following suspicion. The road toll collection system is an excellent example of money that will be taken from South Africans and will leave this country for years to come to enrich foreigners. In return for what? Were no lessons learnt? The next time the stale argument about unfair exchange of value in the past are mentioned the truth about the road toll system should be pointed out.

  • RFreeThinker - 2011-08-14 21:34

    ANC says: "Thanks for the cash! Please keep it coming!". :-)

  • John - 2011-08-14 22:56

    Bobs your uncle.

  • Henry - 2011-08-15 05:17

    It does not say much for the millions of people that put these politicians in power

  • Shane - 2011-08-15 07:36

    How the hell do they find time to do their gov jobs, as well as run companies ? I work like a dog and I still dont get time to do everything I need to in a day.

  • 50something - 2011-08-15 07:49

    And has Malema declared his interests? Seems that the most honest is one is ... wait for it - Helen Zille. no surprises there. politicians are not there fro the people, but for their own selfish reasons. ANC = contacts = R millions

  • baudtin1 - 2011-08-15 07:51

    Bottom line. Black Africans are the most uncompassionate race on Earth...

  • Muzi - 2011-08-15 07:52

    This article is misleading (with the exception of Limpopo premier). I also own some shares in the banks, MTN, Anglo & Discovery (worth about R50,000.00 combined) that I bought through JSE. R5000.00 worth of shares in a multi-billion rand business is not worth mentioning in a national newspaper. Send your journos out there to get stories and stop undermining our intelligence

  • Pieter van der Merwe - 2011-08-15 09:37

    I've always been a moderate person but the way things are going in SA is unsustainable. Read the signs. Africa (ANC included) are forever liberating, never free. My brother summed this thing up the other day for me by saying, either you do something about your gripes in the next 6 months or change your mindset, because you won't change any of this. So, I'm leaving for Aus God willing. I can't wait to go to a place where reason triumphs over madness, greed, incompetence, HUBRIS, reverse racism, hate and poverty. One should think SA is Satan's playground/training ground. That's what you get when you go the 'ancestahs'. No Christianity - No wealth, No knowledge, No holiness, No salvation, just darkness. SA was a nice place but now I don't know if it's Nigeria or Zimbabwe I'm staying in. You can talk about this conundrum all you like and end up wasting your time and money. Basically it's a majore clash of culture and religious heritage in SA. Too many uneducated mouths to feed, to many greedy uneducated chiefs, to many demands, too much crime and poverty and too little work, goodwill and personal responsibility. It's all ubuntu style going downhill very fast. There cannot be another African renaissance because there aint no philosophy to build on except oral traditions and superstitions. Mr. Zuma, Africans and comraids, money, a BMW and Blackberry won't make you wealthy. Ideas, words and the truth will. Put that in your anti-retrovirals. I won't pay the new road tolls by the way.

  • maneki - 2011-08-15 09:42

    And I wonder what premier Cassel Mathale does for the extremely poor people in limpopo? I agree that as a minister, or premier, yes, you should earn a higer salary, like Zille does. But come on, directorship in 20 companies!! That is ludicrous. Between looking after his own interests, in 20 companies, and his farm and spa, when does this guy actually get the time to work for the people of his province? The reason he was actually made premier? And the people of Limpopo are happy to have him, happy to live in squalor. Heck, at least he is black. Disgusting. He should resign immediately because of conflict of interest and the ANC of limpopo should put someone in charge that actually has the time to work for his people. Oh, but wait, that is not the point of ANC leaderhip in any sense at all. The point of being in the ANC leadership is to grab as much as you can as quick as you can. I wonder what this man feels in his heart when he drives past the squatter camps in Limpopo and he sees children with nothing, and no future, playing in the dirt....

  • Canibus - 2011-08-15 10:06

    Does Zille know that the car u drive doesn't really show anything? There are people that live in shacks and driving a BMW 6 series... Zille grew up in a household that had everything... so for her, having a flashy car doesn't do anything for her. She'd rather have a huge mansion in Bishopcourt and a beach-house on the South coast of KZN. Driving an Opel Corsa doesnt mean anything Mrs Zille!

      maneki - 2011-08-15 14:38

      Perhaps not, but at least it shows that she is not using state funds to buy flashy cars, rather than uplifting poor communities. Has any ANC leaders followed that example? Oh, and by the way, the people in squatter camps with their BMW's do not own them, the bank does. Anyone can make debt. That does not make them rich, or smart. Ever heard of being humble? Especially as a servant of the people? Obviously not

  • Badballie - 2011-08-15 12:55

    The African people have been slaves their entire history, firstly to their own monarchy and then to the white man, if anyone expected blacks to find their freedom with the end of apartheid, they quiet obviously never studied history, we not talking the crap they teach you in school here, I'm talking the real truth and facts. Africans have not thrown off the yoke of the white oppressor and immediately donned the yoke of the African dictator, nothing changes and everything else stays the same

      maneki - 2011-08-15 14:39

      And now they are slaves to the ANC, without realising it

      Cyberscep - 2011-09-29 09:51

      That's right blame all the woes of the African continent on the "white oppressor" YAAAWN..... How then do you explain all those African countries up North that are dictator run war zones that were NEVER colonies!? How is the mess that those countries are in the fault of the white man?

  • AYOBA - 2011-09-29 09:39

    WELL, she chooses to drive a Corsa Lite. lmao

  • whmarais - 2011-09-29 10:48

    Old joke: What do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean...a good start. Now what do you call 10,000 politicians at the bottom of the ocean?

  • Hulisani Masoba Muremi - 2015-07-21 09:33

    The politician people the dont care about poor familys Look at Kzn where they head of country stay,,,, His dog eat sushi,pizza n he swimm into a millins. But his neibours stay on shacks.

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