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28 Apr 2015 17:45
Free State premier Ace Magashule. (David Harrison, M&G)
Renovations have been carried out on Free State Premier Ace Magashule’s swimming pool at his official residence, because it was too large “and unnecessarily deep”.
In a written reply in the provincial
legislature, MEC for public works Sam Mashinini defended the spending of close
in the 2011/2012 financial year on mostly aesthetic upgrades to Magashule’s
This was in response to a question submitted by
the DA in November last year.
“The pool was large and unnecessarily
deep, which meant it hardly heated up in the summer and was difficult for the
premier to use as he has small children,” Mashinini wrote in his response.
A new pool house was also built for the
premier which included entertainment facilities and well as a committee
room, dining room, lounge, kitchen and a bathroom.
“The structure had to visually
complement the existing main residence,” read the official explanation for the expenditure.
Mashinini also said the services of a specialist landscaper were retained.
More taxpayers money was also spent on
renovations to the official guesthouse.
Mashinini said the guesthouse now has
four bedrooms with en-suite
a kitchen, lounge, dining room and an outdoor entertainment area.
windows and doors were also upgraded
“to match the official residence”.
“The prefabricated fence was removed
and was replaced with a suitable design in steel,” said Mashinini.
The DA in the Free State said that nothing could be done because it was a state home and not the private residence of the premier.
“Ace Magashule genuinely
revels in luxury at the expense of the people of the Free State. If it is not
five star international holidays for massive delegations, then he and his MECs
dine at state sponsored gala dinners. While hundreds of thousands suffer in
poverty, you can be sure that Ace Magashule and his family enjoy the good
life,” said DA MPL Leona Kleynhans.
She said the
money could have been spent on building 80 houses for the poor in the province.
“If you look at
the state of province, the hospitals are suffering. Lifts are not working. So
to spend R8-million on luxuries is completely ridiculous,” Kleynhans told the
Mail & Guardian on Tuesday.
Magashule’s spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said the money had been spent on renovations.
“The funds that have been voted
for in the presence and participation of the DA have been used to renovate the
Free State House,” he said on Tuesday afternoon.
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