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Old mayoral car up for sale

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At the time it was indicated that the engine did not ignite, although a new battery had been fitted on to the car, and that it had suffered extensive “wear and tear”

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THE FORMER mayoral car that was driven by the former Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Mangaliso Matika, has been put up for sale with a starting price of R115 000.

Only financial offers have been invited for the 2009 model, champagne-coloured Mercedes Benz E500 that has 211 308 kilometres on the clock.

The closing date for bids is September 17.

A council decision was taken in 2017 to sell the Sol 1 NC vehicle, where the proceeds would be used to cover the costs of the new vehicle, after Matika was stuck for almost two hours in the parking lot at a grocery store in Long Street in December 2017.

At the time it was indicated that the engine did not ignite, although a new battery had been fitted on to the car, and that it had suffered extensive “wear and tear”.

It was reported that the vehicle was 60 percent of the time at Gariep Motors, undergoing repairs or being towed.

The purchase request came shortly after items were bought by the Sol Plaatje Municipality to kit out Matika’s private residence including a R26 000 Samsung television, curtains to the value of R52 000, a R15 000 hi-fi sound system, R44 000 worth of kitchenware and crystal ware with a price tag of R26 000.

The new Audi Q7 that was purchased for Matika at a cost of R1.1 million, resulted in protest action from the community who lambasted the municipality for extravagant spending.

The vehicle was also looked at in the Section 106 investigation into irregularities at the Sol Plaatje Municipality.

It was found that the vehicle was purchased through a third party, without any written instruction.

The report recommended that the suspended chief financial officer should be criminally charged after she verbally instructed the accountant creditors to pay LSOGA Projects (Pty) Ltd for the vehicle.

The account creditor had handwritten on the face of the invoice that Maholoko had telephonically requested her, on February 26, to “immediately effect payment, without any written instructions”.

The investigation found that the request was never submitted in writing and thus amounted to a “clear violation of supply chain management processes” and went against “best practices”.

“The refusal of the CFO to provide a written instruction is puzzling. Is it because she did not want to leave a paper trail of her instruction? If yes, why not?”

The task team found difficulty understanding why an amount of R5.6 million was paid for a fleet of vehicles, including the Audi Q7, through LSOA Projects.

The report indicated that fruitless and/or wasteful expenditure could have been avoided if the former mayoral vehicle – the Mercedes Benz-E500 – was properly maintained and repaired.

“The Mercedes Benz was allowed to accumulate more than 150 000 kilometres, which ultimately led to constant breakdowns and unnecessary cost to the municipality.

“The unnecessary, unexplainable delay in replacing the Mercedes Benz resulted in fruitless and wasteful expenditure as no reasonable care was taken to adhere to the South African Local Government Association (Salga) mayoral handbook.”

Spokesperson for Sol Plaatje Municipality Sello Matsie stated that the Mercedes Benz E500 was valuated. “The current trade value is about R177 100 depending on the mileage and overall condition.

“The vehicle was in use until recent mechanical defects while repair costs amounted to R180 186.10. The vehicle was not considered to be mechanically roadworthy.”

He added that the proceeds of the sale of the vehicle would be used for fleet replacement.