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Cassel Mathale the MP

The ANC has defended its decision to appoint Cassel Mathale as a Member of Parliament.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has defended the party's decision to redeploy former Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC has defended its decision to appoint former Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale as a Member of Parliament.

Mathale officially resigned from his post last week after a controversial spell as Premier.

He said his resignation was in line with an announcement made by the ANC to recall him.

Shortly after his resignation, the party's secretary general Gwede Mantashe confirmed that Mathale would be redeployed to the National Assembly.

Mantashe said the decision was sound and didn't mean Mathale had been sidelined.

He was speaking in response to strong criticism to the appointment by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

Cosatu in Limpopo strongly criticised Mathale while he was premier accusing him of dishing out money to selected cronies.

Costatu's Provincial secretary Dan Sibabi says he's not happy with the ruling party's decision.

"Let's hope the ANC propels the revolution forward and reviews the decision because morally, it's not a good decision at all."

Sibabi also says Mathale left Limpopo in dire straits.

Mantashe said Cosatu doesn't understand that the ANC can't fall over itself to please alliance partners whenever it has a problem with a particular ANC leader.

He stressed that Mathale has not been given a life sentence but rather a second chance.

"He's been sitting in the hot seat for a long time under a very difficult situation. Taking him out of that space will help the ANC."

Despite the ANC's defense of Mathale, there has been widespread speculation that he was the latest victim of President Jacob Zuma's latest cabinet reshuffle.

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).

He has been replaced by South Africa's former ambassador to Ukraine Stanley Mathabatha.

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