/ 14 February 2012

Limpopo premier cashes in on travel claims

Limpopo Premier Cashes In On Travel Claims

Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale prefers to use his own car on official trips, despite having state vehicles, which is costing taxpayers thousands of rands a month, the Star reported on Tuesday.

The newspaper has reportedly seen a document from Mathale’s office detailing how he cashed in on travel claims.

In September 2011, Mathale was paid R446 000, including his R75 000 monthly salary.

Mathale’s office bought two cars during the two years he had been premier. A BMW 750i worth R1-million was purchased in April 2009, and a BMW X5 that cost the state R821 000 followed in June 2011.

According to the Star Mathale reportedly preferred using his own vehicle so he could claim travel expenses. His spokesperson Mashadi Mathosa defended Mathale’s use of his personal cars.

“The ministerial handbook gives him the prerogative to use his private vehicle and claim,” she was quoted as saying.

Limpopo faced a potential shortfall of R2-billion at the end of the last financial year. Cabinet put five departments — finance, education, health and social development, public works, and education — from the province under administration last year after it emerged that Limpopo was bankrupt and could not pay civil servants, such as teachers and nurses.

The treasury has called on the Special Investigating Unit to investigate allegations of graft and corruption in the province. — Sapa & M&G repoter