Mathee was born in Harrismith. After completed his schooling, he completed his national service in the SA Army. While at school, he developed a keen interest in photography. He photographed for the school newspaper and continued his interest whilst serving in the defence force. After two years of national service he enrolled for a degree in architecture at the University of Port Elizabeth. A week before commencing with this course he discovered that one can study photography. This he did at the Port Elizabeth Technikon. He studied Photography for 4 years and pursued an academic career at the Vaal Triangle Technikon.
His preferred genre in photography is the documentary image. He initiated the Kwazulu Documentary Project, which has been running over the past 14 years and is the organiser of the Picture Essay Documentary Award in South Africa. He documented widely in South Africa.
Whilst lecturing at the Vaal Triangle Technikon, he also became an Audio Visual specialist involving himself in large-scale panoramic productions. As the slide / sound production in industry evolved into video he specialised in post production sound for video and panoramic video productions using M-peg streaming technologies.
He initiated the digital process within the same department in the early 90's, and together with dedicated staff, established the department as a significant role-player in digital photography education in South Africa. With their unique turn key digital solution, they bridged the divide between digital photography and conventional photography as far as the final image aesthetic is concerned.
During this period he dedicated his life to the Christian faith. This he feels has made his work more objective and detached from political and cultural ideologies. He is currently completing a master's degree in education, investigating new dialogic teaching methodologies for practice-based subjects.
His latest photographic work explores the environment and peoples relationships with their environment. Through this work traditional techniques are simulated on the computer and printed out to photographic standards.
He is married to Lizl and has a son David.