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Mayor's Merc under scrutiny?

2013-02-05 09:07

HOT WHEELS: Ex- North West mayor Maphetle Maphetle's new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is believed to be parked at the Tlokwe municipality.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance wants a forensic audit of the purchase of a Mercedes-Benz for Tlokwe(Potchefstroom) municipality's ex-mayor.

DA MP Juanita Terblanche said: "The DA will ask the Auditor-General to look into this transaction and recommend ways for the exorbitant cost to be recouped and channelled into delivery projects in Tlokwe instead."

The car cost R736 300 and according to Terblanche, the car had apparently been delivered to the Tlokwe municipality late on Friday last week after several "luxury customisations" were made.

“The car was purschased just before the financial year end, possibly around June 2012 hence we’d like an investigation to make sure the money spent on the car was not supposed to be used for something else like service delivery matters,” said Terblanche.

She added the car in question is an unregistered Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI.

“The car was purchased quite some time ago, but due to all the customising it’s taken a few months to be deilvered,” said Terblanche.

LEGIT PURCHASE

Terblanche said the vehicle was bought for the use of ex-mayor Maphetle Maphetle who was replaced by the DA's Annette Combrink in November 2012 after warring factions within the ANC filed a motion of no confidence in him. The DA continues to run the town even though the ANC is pushing for Maphetle's reinstatement.

In January 2013 the ANC North West said it would not rest until it reclaimed leadership of the municipality.

According to the DA, the car is currently locked up and will not be used by the mayor as she will continue to use her personal car, a Volkswagen Jetta, for her mayoral duties.

The municipality confirmed it had approved the purchase of the Mercedes. A spokesman said there was nothing untoward; the car was budgeted for under the 2011/2012 [budget] that was passed in a full council session and [to] "which [the] DA never raised any whimper of objection or displeasure".

Maphetle had been using a vehicle used by three mayors before him.

The ANC's Dakota Legoete said it was standard council procedure to continually renew its vehicle fleet. "If their mayor wants to drive her Jetta, we welcome that and applaud her, but they must stop making unfounded insinuations."

Legoete also welcomed the DA's call for the investigation.


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