The contractors who presented a top of the range Mercedes-Benz to Transport Minister S'bu Ndebele as a gift say he may dispose of the car as he sees fit.
Minister may 'dispose of' gift Merc
The debate over the S500 Mercedes given him by the Vukuzakhe emerging contractors in KwaZulu-Natal two weeks ago had "put our Minister in an unwelcomed spot", the Vukuzakhe Contractors Association said in a statement.
The gift was simply to honour him for his "unselfish contribution to the pioneering and implementation of the Vukuzakhe programme".
"We are very disappointed and disturbed at the manner in which this story was reported by the media.
"The Vukuzakhe programme is a government programme that was established to promote social equity and black economic empowerment; it focuses on job creation in communities that have been most disadvantaged historically. It is not a private sector or a consortium.
"The Ubuntu that we as African people pride ourselves with was over sighted in this whole issue. The gift was a token of appreciation, nothing else," the association said.
Ndebele had informed them, and the media, last week that after careful consideration and in discussion with his family, he had decided not to use the gift for his personal use or for use by any of his family members.
"Being a man of honour, as he is known, he decided to dispose of the gift for the benefit of further training and developing our country.
"We wish to categorically state that it is the Minister's right and prerogative to dispose of the gift as and when he deems fit, and we accept and respect that," the contractors said.