Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha might have strengthened his grip on power in Limpopo after appointing 10 members of his executive council yesterday, but opposition parties say he has replaced one lot of rotten MECs with another.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) was the first to fire a salvo. DA provincial chairperson Jacques Smalle said Mathabatha should be applauded for excluding former education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe and public works MEC Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana.
Smalle accused Mokaba-Phukwane of awarding tenders to service providers with links to her and Kgetjepe of having “solicited bribes” from service providers. He said Mathabatha should be reprimanded for choosing Seaparo Sekoati, Nkakareng Rakgoale, Dickson Masemola as new MECs and Mavhungu Leruli as new speaker of the legislature.
He accused the latter of having brought Limpopo to its knees during the administrative and political leadership of former premier Cassel Mathale. He also accused the MECs of being corrupt and infamous for getting “jobs for pals”.
“In the past four years of Mathabatha’s leadership, his departments and municipalities accumulated over R14 billion of unauthorised, irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure.
“But in spite of that questionable conduct, there was no consequence management in place. So we believe these new brooms will not sweep well in a month or two.”
The EFF, the official opposition in the province, also entered the fray.
“The chickens have now come home to roost. Most of the new MECs have been entangled in corruption or are Mathabatha’s yes men.
“Mathabatha made sure he only elected people who will ask ‘how high’ when he tells them to jump,” said EFF provincial secretary George Raphela yesterday.
Raphela’s message to the new cabinet was to work hard, be transparent, avoid corruption and complicity and have the interests of all the people at heart. The EFF also warned Mathabatha his days as Limpopo premier were numbered if he did not take action against fraudsters, especially those in his cabinet.
The new members of his executive council are: sport, arts and culture, Thandi Moraka; education, Polly Boshielo; agriculture and rural development, Nandi Ndalane; economic development, environment and tourism, Thabo Mokone; public works, roads and infrastructure, Dr Onnica Mochadi; cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs, Basikopo Makamu; social development, Nkakareng Rakgoale; treasury, Seaparo Sekoati; health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba and Dickson Masemola for transport.