- According to a memo released in February, deputy transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga has four luxury cars in her possesion
- Despite the Ministerial Handbook stating a minister is allowed only two cars
- However, the department denies these claims, adding she adhered to the rules stipulated in the handbook and returned the two older cars as instructed
The deputy transport minister of South Africa, Sindisiwe Chikunga, is travelling in style with her collection of luxurious vehicles, all at the expense of tax payers.
The deputy reportedly owns four luxury cars, including a BMW X5, BMW X6, BMW GT and a Jaguar F-Type.
Chikunga has been accused of misusing government money for her own personal gain nd even that of her family.
“It is alleged that the petrol station’s CCTV recordings clearly show the footage of the deputy minister’s relative paying for petrol for both the Avis vehicle and that of a friend.”
She allegedly allowed a relative to fill up her vehicle with petrol using the Avis petrol card of the state-hired car she was driving, News24 reported.
Last month, director-general Mathabatha Mokonyama wrote a confidential transport department memo stating Chikunga could have returned her BMW X6 and BMW GT 12 months ago.
Briefly.co.za gathered it was after the government purchased two new cars for the deputy transport minister, a BMW X5 and posh Jaguar F-Type.
The price of a BMW X5 reaches well over R1 million, depending on the model. The Jaguar F-Type itself reaches prices above R1 million.
According to the reports, the memo was used to instruct Zandile Maseko, the head of Chikunga’s office, to make sure “deputy minister hands over the keys to the deputy minister’s old vehicles to the department and to make sure that any use of the vehicles is stopped”.
Mokonyama said according to the Ministerial Handbook, a minister is allowed two vehicles, one in Pretoria and one in Cape Town.
The handbook further states if the car reached 120 000km or has serious mechanical difficulties, the minister can receive a new car.
However, Chikunga failed to return her previous cars, meaning instead of two vehicles, she has four in her possession.
“Currently the deputy minister has four vehicles in her name on the asset register. Two old vehicles were replaced in March 2017 and in May 2017 respectively, but were never returned to the department to enable the department to dispose of the vehicles as required by the Ministerial Handbook,” Mokonyama wrote in his memo.
According to Monareng, the cars she drove even had unpaid traffic bills.
However, the department's official spokesperson Sam Monareng denied these claims, adding Chikunga did not have four cars since her older vehicles were returned as instructed by the handbook.
It was not the first time the deputy minister had been accused of wasteful expenditure.
Other than the excessive use of an Avis petrol card by her family, Chikunga allegedly paid a transport company R55 000 and R62 000 for two trips between her home in Elukwatini, Mpumalanga and other home in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal.
It was reported the company transported documents and blankets between her two homes.
The department attempted to justify the travel cost, saying the company had to work after hours since their official transport agency was unavailable.
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