TO: The Editor
28 September 2016
In the light of the your publication dated 23 SEPTEMBER – 06 OCTOBER 2016 with a front page headline reading “MPU SPLURGES R3MILLION ON SUV CARS FOR THE SPEAKER, we refer you to the following
It is complete fabrication of information and malicious reporting to suggest that an amount of three million rand has been spent to purchase the vehicles of the Speaker. The purchase price of the two vehicles combined is not even exceeding R2.3million.
An amount of R2, 5M could have been easily spent during August 2015 to August 2016, the period at which the vehicle allocated to the Speaker of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature was not available for use, if the Legislature was to hire the vehicle for her official business. But, the Speaker, Mrs BT Shongwe had opted to use the VW Polo and or the Viano Kombi from August 2015, when the vehicle was involved in an accident, to November 2015, when the new vehicle was purchased.
This came after the Speaker’s allocated vehicle in 2014, was unfortunately involved in a third accident in August 2015 and was taken in for repairs.
The assessment report from the Union Motors panel beaters indicated severe damages to the car which had also impacted on the safety features of the vehicle. Based on the assessment report, the Security Management Unit of the Legislature advised that, it was clearly risky to continue using the vehicle for the official business of the Speaker. The Security Management, therefore, strongly advised that a new vehicle for the Speaker be purchased hence the decision to procure a new vehicle in 2015 was approved.
The Ziwaphi Newspaper reporter suggests that the accident had resulted in minor damages to the vehicle. This is absolutely incorrect and distortion of facts as this is evident from the twelve months duration it has taken to repair the vehicle concerned by the panel beaters.
It is misleading the public by the Ziwaphi reporter that the vehicle when it returned to the Legislature by the Panel Beaters was parked at the Speaker’s residence. The vehicle has since been parked at government building.
Further important to note that it is deliberate manufacturing of information intent at misleading and creating wrong impression as there is no truth to suggest, there was an instruction to purchase similar vehicle. It is clear even in the report that the two vehicles are distinct as one vehicle is Mercedes Benz ML whereas the other is Mercedes Benz GL.
Both the reporter Mr Tom Nkosi, as the former employee of the Mpumalanga Legislature in the Office of the former Speaker Mr SW Lubisi and the quoted anonymous informer, who also seems to be an employee of the Legislature should know better about the separation of powers. The Legislature is a distinct organ of the state; as such the financial resource requirements are sourced through the Office of the Treasury. It is true that the Premier is not aware of the purchases of assets by the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature because of the separation of powers.
Both vehicles are in the asset register of the Legislature and the Office of the Auditor verified and confirmed the existence vehicles during the conducting of the audit in March 2016.
Due to the impact as a result of the accidents which compromised the safety features of the vehicle, the Security Manager advised that the vehicle is not suitable for use by the Speaker. The vehicle will be disposed-off when the Legislature disposes assets during the course of the 2016/17 financial year
Issued by: Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature
Ms Zamagambu Memela-Gamede