/ 15 April 2013

Mathale reports ‘misleading’, says Limpopo government

Mathale Reports 'misleading', Says Limpopo Government

The allegations levelled against Mathale over the weekend were incorrect, misleading and devoid of the truth, the province's director general Rachel Molepo-Modipa told reporters in Polokwane on Monday.

"Allegations contained in the newspaper in question are generally not reflective of what the law provides. Before a decision to charge an official can be taken, it is important that the process and procedures outline disciplinary procedures."

She said the allegations had no factual base and were intended to "assassinate the character of the premier and vilify him".

The Sunday Independent reported that it was told Mathale was refusing to institute disciplinary action against several heads of departments who were accused of corruption.

Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu had reportedly said Mathale's legal team was questioning the legality of "procedural documents" compiled for investigations.

She said the premier was supposed to sign off the documents that would lead to two provincial heads of department being charged.

Media's 'lack of understanding'
Sisulu visited the province in January and saw Mathale again last week to discuss the status of the documents at the centre of the investigations, she said.

"The documents indicate what the charges [against the two heads of departments] are. [Mathale] took the documents to his lawyers, who were worried about its legality. They pointed out procedural matters that needed to be dealt with," Sisulu was quoted as saying.

Molepo-Modipa on Monday said the media had a lack of understanding of labour relations.

She named six steps in the disciplinary processes and procedures.

"It is prudent to outline the applicable disciplinary process and procedures in the public service to forge a common understanding of how labour relations matters are dealt [with].

"We doubt whether the author of the article knows and understands labour laws because all of the officials know procedure."

Complaint would be lodged
Molepo-Modipa said a complaint would be lodged with the press ombud.

"We are not going to keep quiet," she said.

Mathale has been under fire since December 2011, when five provincial government departments were placed under administration because of corruption and gross violation of the Public Finance Management Act.

Mathale was stripped of his position as ANC provincial chairperson when the national executive committee took the decision to disband the provincial executive committee last month.

A task team has been put in place to run the party in the province.

DA reaction
The Democratic Alliance on Sunday said that it will table a motion of no confidence in Mathale.

"Reports that Premier Cassel Mathale is deliberately blocking the investigation by the department of public service and administration into a number of heads of departments puts it beyond doubt that he must vacate the office," said the DA's provincial Member of Parliament Desiree van der Walt.

"The DA's motion will be a litmus test for the ANC. If they are serious about dealing with corruption in the province they will support our motion." – Sapa