ANC praises Mathale

The ANC called on Limpopo legislators to act quickly to replace premier Cassel Mathale.

Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale tendered his resignation on Monday saying it was in line with a decision made by the ANC. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - While the ANC publicly praised resigned Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale's reign in the province on Monday, the provincial legislature is being urged to replace him as quickly as possible.

Mathale resigned on Monday morning after a controversial spell as premier.

The ANC will now put forward a new candidate which will be sworn in during a special meeting of the provincial legislature.

There is widespread speculation that Mathale was the latest victim of President Jacob Zuma's political axe which swung into action last week during the latest cabinet reshuffle.

Despite his removal, the ANC maintains that Mathale has left behind a "prosperous, thriving and stable" province.

The ruling party described him as a comrade with a long ANC history and said it hoped to work with him in future.

Meanwhile, five of Limpopo's departments are under national government administration while allegations of corruption and the aftermath of the textbook crisis continue to haunt the province.

While the province awaits a new leader, Limpopo government spokesperson Tebatso Mabitsela says service delivery won't grind to a halt.

"We will continue to make sure that government renders quality services to our people," he said.

The chairman of the ANC's provinical task team Philemon Mdaka says a new premier may bring in new MECs which means there may still be more political casualties.

He also complimented Mathale on a job well done, saying, "I believe that he has done well."

In turn, opposition parties have said the resignation was long overdue.

The Congress of the People (Cope) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo believe Mathale should have been removed sooner.

The DA's Limpopo spokesperson Langa Bodlani said, "He should have been shown the door a long time ago".

"Under him this province was literally in paralysis. We are glad that this has now happened."

Cope's Motlatjo Thetjeng believes the president was behind the recall.

"The president of this country, Mr Jacob Zuma, has gone all out to purge his opponents."

Mathale was a staunch supporter of expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema who has now launched his own political movement, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has described Mathale as a divisive figure in the ANC, who encouraged factionalism.

Nehawu's Mike Shingange says Mathale introduced problematic and foreign tendencies into the ANC and government.

"Obviously we must all work together now to try and rebuild the confidence of our people in the ANC."