News / South Africa / Government

Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
16 May 2019
6:20 am

Fight graft or lose your job, opposition warns Limpopo premier

Alex Japho Matlala

Mathabatha’s appointment is a direct endorsement of poverty, corruption and low quality of life for the people of Limpopo, the EFF said.

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha. Picture: Gallo Images

Opposition parties yesterday warned Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha to fight corruption in his administration if he wanted to continue running Limpopo.

The parties have accused Mathabatha of failing to implement the recommendations of former public protector Thuli Madonsela to implement remedial action against some of the rot made by Mathabatha’s MECs.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) provincial leader Jossey Buthane said Mathabatha had been asleep on the job since 2013.

“His administration has brought the worst to the people of Limpopo, regressing all aspects of their social and economic life,” he said.

“Under his poor leadership, municipalities and provincial departments lost R15 billion of unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the past five years.

“Twenty-two municipalities have collapsed right under his nose after a fatal investment of R2.6 billion with the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank. As if that was not enough, the human settlements department underspent a grant funding by R1.48 billion in the last four financial years.”

Buthane added: “Despite this obvious mismanagement, corruption, negligence and laziness, Mathabatha still saw fit to keep MECs like Makoma Makhurupetje, Ishmael Kgetjepe and Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana within his cabinet.”

Buthane accused Mokaba -Phukwana of graft after she allegedly appointed a forensic company related to her.

“The public protector and Mathabatha himself agreed with us that the appointment was corrupt. The public protector made a recommendation that she must pay back the money which she never did. Mathabatha’s appointment is a direct endorsement of poverty, corruption and low quality of life for the people of Limpopo,” Buthane said.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) entered the fray, accusing Mathabatha of protecting those found to be on the wrong side of the law, especially those in his chamber.

“Limpopo has become a crime haven and a nest of corruption. MECs do as they please, senior government officials do business with government, municipal managers, chief financial officers and mayors steal from the poor through VBS and no action is taken,” said DA provincial chairperson and member of parliament, Jacques Smalle, yesterday.

The South African National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union has also accused Mathabatha of failing to take action against the province’s director-general, Nape Nchabeleng, and his spokesperson Kenny Mathiba.

The union said Nchabeleng led the premier’s office into accumulating irregular expenditure of R3.9 million.

During an ANC election victory jamboree in Polokwane yesterday, Mathabatha promised his new administration would end corruption.

Mathabatha’s spokesperson Mathiba said there was little the premier could do about the Mokaba-Phokwana fiasco as the MEC had taken the public protector’s findings on review.

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