Min­is­ter’s car auc­tioned for R10

Mapisa-Nqakula ‘failed’ to set­tle R50 563 debt

Sowetan - - News - By Asanda Nini

A Mercedes-Benz sedan be­long­ing to De­fence and Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans’ Min­is­ter No­siviwe Mapisa-Nqakula fetched a lousy R10 dur­ing an auc­tion in King Wil­liam’s Town yes­ter­day.

The car went un­der the ham­mer af­ter Mapisa-Nqakula al­legedly 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, Mdantsane-based renowned aca­demic Dou­glas Mapisa was bought by the same garage, King Wil­liam’s Town Mo­tor En­gi­neer­ing, which the min­is­ter was in­debted to for the re­pairs.

This af­ter no buy­ers were avail­able to bid dur­ing an auc­tion yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The sale was con­firmed yes­ter­day by the garage’s lawyer Peter Mon­aghan. This af­ter a writ of ex­e­cu­tion, pav­ing the way for the ve­hi­cle’s auc­tion­ing, was is­sued by the lo­cal mag­is­trate’s court on April 26.

Mon­aghan said: “Be­cause no one showed in­ter­est or turned up for the sched­uled auc­tion (yes­ter­day) morn­ing, the ve­hi­cle was then sold to the plain­tiff for R10. This then means that the plain­tiff now fully owns the car and can now sell the ve­hi­cle to any­one, at a price they deem fit, in or­der to re­coup the costs of re­pairs.”

An ad­vert was placed by Mon­aghan in the news­pa­pers ear­lier this month, in­form­ing the pub­lic that the auc­tion­ing was sched­uled for 10am.

How­ever, when the team from Sowe­tan’s sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion, Daily Dis­patch, ar­rived at the premises, just 10 min­utes af­ter the sched­uled start, the auc­tion was com­pleted.

Com­pany own­ers yes­ter­day re­fused to give de­tails about the ve­hi­cle or its auc­tion­ing. They in­stead re­ferred queries to Mon­aghan.

The com­pany had ap­proached the court ear­lier this year over fail­ure by the min­is­ter, or her pen­sioner fa­ther, to set­tle a bill that stood at R50 563 by July 26 last year, plus in­ter­est, for the re­pairs ef­fected in April 2016.

Mapisa-Nqakula had de­clined to set­tle the debt, say­ing she was never con­sulted be­fore the work was done. The ve­hi­cle is reg­is­tered un­der her name, but has over the years been used by her fa­ther.

Late last year Mon­aghan said by the end of July 2016 the debt was al­ready 78 days out­stand­ing.

At that time they gave Mapisa-Nqakula seven days to make the pay­ment or face her ve­hi­cle be­ing auc­tioned.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s de­part­men­tal spokes­woman Joy Peter yes­ter­day said: “As the de­part­ment we don’t have any com­ment on this. This is be­cause as the min­istry we don’t com­ment on pri­vate mat­ters.”

How­ever she has pre­vi­ously told the Dis­patch that MapisaNqakula re­fused to pay the bill as the me­chan­ics had fixed the car with­out her con­sent.

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