Vanderbijlpark – Luxury vehicles belonging to the Gauteng government and which are used by members of the legislature, are not insured – apparently because they are “misused” and have many accidents.
Gauteng govt cars 'not insured'
No insurer is prepared to insure these vehicles.
The luxurious Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG which the recently appointed MEC for agriculture and rural development bought for about R1m last Friday, and which was stolen the next day by hijackers, was thus also uninsured.
A storm erupted after Nomanto Nkomo-Ralehoko bought the Mercedes Benz at a dealership in Alberton, and allowed her husband, Sydney, to drive it.
He was hijacked by four armed robbers in the driveway of their home in Tulisa Park on Saturday. He was not injured.
Sipho Thanjekwayo, Nkomo-Ralehoko’s spokesperson, said on Wednesday that the Gauteng legislature bought the car on Friday with cash, and confirmed that it wasn’t insured. He also confirmed that no government vehicle is insured, but could not give a reason for this.
Hendrika Kruger, DA spokesperson for agriculture and rural development, said it is “inexcusable that the MEC bought such an expensive car with taxpayers’ money, in the midst of the poverty “around her”.
The DA asked Judge Jules Browde, commissioner of the ethics committee, to investigate the matter.
Kruger confirmed government vehicles in Gauteng are not insured because they are “misused” and have so many accidents that it would cost insurance companies millions.
No insurer wants to insure them, she said.
Responding to the criticism about Nkomo-Ralehoko buying such an expensive vehicle, Thanjekwayo said she qualified for it, and the purchase was in fact approved by Dr Steven Cornelius, head of her department.
Her salary allows for a car “which costs quite a lot more”, he said. According to him it’s a “safe car” which she can drive around in rural areas.
“Her safety is important to us.”
He added that the MEC was “very unhappy” about everyone making a fuss about the purchase of an expensive car, while nobody asks how she and her family are doing following the hijacking.
Regarding the reason for Mr Nkomo driving the car, Thanjekwayo said “there’s nothing wrong with it”.
“The husbands of female MECs are allowed to drive government vehicles if they have a valid driver’s licence,” he said.
Nkomo-Ralehoko is apparently looking for a new government vehicle, now “something a little less luxurious”, he said.