De­fence min­is­ter’s Merc fetches R10

Daily Dispatch - - News - By ASANDA NINI

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. —

Pic­ture: BHONGO JA­COB

GONE IN SEC­ONDS: The Mercedes Benz be­long­ing to De­fence Min­is­ter No­siviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was auc­tioned yes­ter­day

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