Minister’s car auctioned for R10
Mapisa-Nqakula ‘failed’ to settle R50 563 debt
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.