MP calls for investigation into Lindiwe Zulu's department after purchase of luxury cars

MP calls for investigation into Lindiwe Zulu's department after purchase of luxury cars

- Toby Chance, a DA MP, has called on the Public Protector's office to investigate the Small Business Development Department after the purchase of two luxury vehicles

- The cars are valued at roughly R1.8million

- Chance also said the department should be collapsed into one of the ministries in the economic cluster

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Small Business Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu's department may be in hot water after the Public Protector's office was requested to robe the department after it bought two luxury vehicles just before Christmas.

The car, two new BMW 540is‚ valued at about R1.8-million each‚ were bought on 20 December. It's alleged they were purchased for the the minister and her deputy.

The BMWs are marketed for businessmen and promises state of the art features, which include "automated driving in situations such as traffic jams and slow-moving traffic or on long journeys".

Toby Chance‚ a Member of Parliament from the DA‚ is not concerned with the vehicles' performance, but said he finds it "unacceptable that the minister continues to spend millions of rands for her luxury and comfort, while the Department of Small Business Development struggles to fulfill its mandate of helping small scale and medium businesses in the country."

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According to a report by TimesLIVE, Chance is accusing Zulu of misleading Parliament on the purchase of cars.

"In an oral reply to a question I posed to her on the 29th of November 2017‚ Minister Zulu seemingly omitted that the Department was in the process of buying new cars for her and her Deputy. On the 16th of March 2018‚ a written response to a DA question revealed that two new BMW 540is‚ to the tune of over R1.8-million‚ were purchased on 20th December 2017 for the Minister and her Deputy under the authorisation of the Director General.

Chance said Zulu's failure to disclose a process that was already under way to purchase new cars by the Department‚ while aware of its relevance to her oral reply in Parliament‚ was not only misleading but a possible violation of the Code of Ethics for Members of the Executive.

He then called on the Public Protector to investigate, in terms of, the Code of Ethics. The code states Members of the Executive may not 'wilfully mislead the legislature to which they are accountable'.

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Furthermore, Chance is of the opinion that the department should be collapsed into one of the ministries in the economic cluster. He said, "Its continued status as a standalone department is an unnecessary drain on the fiscus."

"Minister Zulu's love for luxury spending‚ coupled with poor performance by her department‚ must be enough evidence for President Cyril Ramaphosa to collapse the department to prevent further waste of taxpayer's money."

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