MAHIKENG, North West Province - Provincial premier Thandi Modise has spent more than R1.3-million on a new luxury sedan despite the national Cabinet banning extravagant spending on such vehicles.Modise's office defended the acquisition of a new BMW 750i costing over a million rand. Spokesman Lesiba Kgwele said in a statement: "The vehicle purchased for... Thandi Modise was not acquired in defiance to a Cabinet directive."He said through Sapa that media reports suggesting the purchase was a snub at Finance Minister Pravin Godhan's call for cost cutting was disingenuous.'ABSURD ALLEGATIONS' The model range was launched in South Africa in October 2012 and prices range (Jan 2014) from R1 059 000 for a "basic" 730 diesel model to R1 893 900 for the top-of-the-line 760Li. The 750i range starts at R1 324 000 and goes up to R1 572 500.Modise's office said the allegations were absurd and malicious because the vehicle was already on order when the finance minister announced austerity plans in his the mid-term budget speech."The decision to purchase the BMW 750i that cost R1.3 million was taken by the provincial department of public works, roads and transport and was below the 70% limit prescribed by the ministerial handbook," he said.He added that the official vehicle used by Modise's predecessor had exceeded the maximum 120 000km limit had to travel and experienced constant mechanical breakdowns that compromised the premier's security.GORDHAN TOO LATEIn October, ANC national finance minister Pravin Gordhan instructed ministers, MECs and premiers to limit vehicle procurement but Elisha said the decision to buy the car had been taken long before the cost-cutting plans were announced.