Defence minister’s Merc fetches R10
A MERCEDES-BENZ sedan belonging to Defence and Military Veterans’ Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula fetched a mere R10 during an auction in King William’s Town yesterday.
The car went under the hammer after Mapisa-Nqakula failed to settle a R50 000 debt to a King William’s Town garage, which had worked on her faulty engine and gearbox last year.
The 1998 C180 Benz, used by the minister’s 96-year-old father, renowned Mdantsane-based academic Douglas “DV” Mapisa, was bought by the same garage, King William’s Town Motor Engineering, which the minister was indebted to for the repairs.
No buyers appeared to bid for the vehicle during an auction yesterday morning.
The sale was confirmed yesterday by the garage’s King William’s Townbased lawyer Peter Monaghan.
Monaghan said: “Because no one showed interest or turned up for the scheduled auction [yesterday] morning, the vehicle was sold to the plaintiff for R10.”
An advert was placed by Monaghan in newspapers earlier this month informing the public that the auctioning of Mapisa-Nqakula’s vehicle was scheduled for 10am at the garage’s premises in the town’s Buffalo Street.
However when the Daily Dispatch team arrived at the premises, just 10 minutes after the scheduled start, the auction was already over.
Company owners yesterday refused to give details about the vehicle or its auctioning. They instead referred queries to Monaghan.
Mapisa-Nqakula’s departmental spokeswoman Joy Peter yesterday said: “As the ministry we don’t comment on private matters.”
However, she has previously said that Mapisa-Nqakula refused to pay the bill as the mechanics had fixed the car without her consent.
At the time the minister accused them of acting in an “unacceptable” manner by not consulting her before conducting the repairs.
“Their behaviour was questionable and she is not moved by the fact that they say they will sell it,” Peter said at the time. —
GONE IN SECONDS: The Mercedes Benz belonging to Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was auctioned yesterday