Controversy-prone Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has reportedly bought a brand new Mercedes Benz S400 worth R1.35 million with taxpayers’ money, at double the price recommended by government.
The Sowetan reports that the minister’s deputy Godfrey Oliphant also bought a Porsche Cayenne worth an estimated R1.33 million.
The extravagant purchases of the luxury vehicles comes under the backdrop of cost-saving measure implemented by Treasury, which has cut the cost of new cars for ministers at R750 000.
Zwane has faced massive criticism from mining unions for not adequately addressing the compensation of families affected by the Lily Mine accident in Barberton, Mpumalanga, and Vantage Goldfields’ subsequent bankruptcy.
The bodies of coal mineworkers Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyirenda are yet to be recovered underground after a shipping container they were working in collapsed on February 5 last year.
The minister has also been implicated in the public protector’s State of Capture report and has been linked to the controversial Gupta family, at the centre of “state capture” allegations.
Zwane also has the poorest parliamentary attendance record of all Cabinet ministers, according to records from the People’s Assembly Service, which showed in December 2016 he had registered absent for 31 committee meetings.