MEDIA STATEMENT ON PREMIER’S VEHICLES
31 October 2014
As the office of the Premier, we have noted with dismay the on-going disturbing, mischievous and malicious media reports by the opposition which are deliberately intended to portray the Honourable Premier Mr David Mabuza to the public as an irresponsible person who is more interested on splashing public funds on flashy fleet at an expense of the taxpayers.
We would like to reiterate our stance that as the Mpumalanga Provincial Government, we have nothing to hide with regards to the purchasing of the vehicles for the Honourable Premier. The media statement we issued in January this year on this matter remains true.
We are again on record that there is no any other additional vehicle purchased for the Honourable Premier except for those we explained the circumstances around which they were purchased.
In our January media statement, we explained that one of the vehicles was subsequently purchased by our office and given to the Honourable Premier’s protectors as the allocation and the delivery of a VIP vehicle from SAPS to our province had been delayed and yet the Premier’s guards had no vehicle.
Between 2010 and 2012, SAPS could not provide back up vehicles as required by the SAPS VIP Security Detail. It was during this period that office of the Premier was compelled to acquire two vehicles and allocated these vehicles to the SAPS VIP Security Detail for its utilization.
It was only in 2013 when SAPS eventually made two vehicles available for utilization by the said VIP Security Detail, which vehicles are not in the asset register of the Office of the Premier and are only used on rotation basis when the other two vehicles are on services or have mechanical problems.
The principal car of the Honourable Premier is an Audi A8, which was purchased after 2011 Range Rover developed numerous mechanical problems, and this car was disposed of in 2013. The 2013 Range Rover is a pool vehicle used to transport the visiting dignitaries and is occasionally used by the Honourable Premier in difficult terrains.
We are therefore dismissing the statement by the opposition with the contempt it deserves. We are further distancing the Office of the Premier from the so-called “contradictory information” purported to have been supplied to the Legislature by the Department of Public Works Roads and Transport.
We have since instituted an internal enquiry to establish the facts around this matter and have established that this information was not verified with the Office of the Premier and it lacks context in its form and nature.
During our internal enquiry, we have established that a senior official from the Department of Public Works Roads and Transport responded to questions without verifying with the Office of the Premier. We are hoping the department will take a corrective measure to avoid any future confusion caused by misinformation.
This misleading statement lacks critical information pertaining as to who provided the vehicles and for what; because of this distorted information the Office of the Premier was not afforded an opportunity to contextualize the information.
We therefore would like to ask the opposition party to take the people of South Africa into confidence and explain why they issued a media statement without verifying it with the Office of the Premier.
We regard this as cheap politicking by the opposition and we see it as a clear sabotage and a smear campaign against the Honourable Premier. We are of the view that the opposition party is purposely creating confusion in an effort to disgrace Premier Mabuza.
We can only conclude that this information is used to attack the image and stature of the Honourable Premier by those who bent on portraying the Premier as irresponsible. This behavior is indeed disturbing and disheartening as it is devoid of any truth but the distortion of information.
Whilst we respect the role of the opposition parties of being a watchdog to government, we equally expect them to be responsible and play the ball not the man. In this case it is clear that the opposition failed to exercise its mandate in a fair, objective and unbiased manner.
Issued by Zibonele Mncwango
Spokesperson: Mpumalanga Premier
Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Office of the Premier
Tel: (013) 766 2453
Mobile: 079 491 0163
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