By Roy Jankielsohn, Leader of the Official Opposition in the Free State Provincial Legislature:
Premier Ace Magashule yesterday handed over six brand new Mercedes-Benzes, at a cost to the public purse of R3,2 million, to Free State Traditional leaders. This is nothing but delivering on the promise Magashule made in April earlier this year in a bid to extend his patronage network.
During a time where the Free State suffers under the yoke of the worst drought in decades, an ever escalating water crisis and crippling unemployment, Premier Magashule opted to purchase luxury German sedans in a bid to secure rural votes for the ANC next year.
The R3,2 million spent on these cars could have gone a long way to assist victims of the drought with the delivery of much needed livestock feed and water to alleviate the suffering of rural communities.
In April, the DA called on Free State traditional leaders to reject Magashule’s offer for new luxury cars and place the needs of our impoverished people above their own, as what can be expected from good leaders.
At the hand-over ceremony, King Lelika Moloi, Chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders, stated that receiving these vehicles is their “right” and rejected allegations that these vehicles serve as a bribe to ensure their support for the ANC in next year’s municipal elections.
And so it has come to pass that traditional leaders in the Free State have abandoned their responsibilities to the people who continue to suffer in poverty and depravation. Free State traditional leaders have now joined the ANC’s closed-crony society of ‘haves’ while the masses of ‘have-nots’ continue to grow.
The DA calls on the people of the Free State to reject the continued abuse of power and public funds by the ANC and their cronies, come election day next year, and to vote for the DA who is the only party in government that delivers for all, that drives back unemployment, that uplifts people from poverty and that empowers individuals to become proud, productive and successful citizens.