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King's car bills roll in

By unknown | Nov 16, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

A KwaZulu-Natal government minister has called for an "immediate" investigation into why R900000 was used to hire luxury 4x4 vehicles to transport King Goodwill Zwelethini to various engagements.

MEC for finance and economic affairs Zweli Mkhize's call comes after the Royal Household Department informed the province's economic affairs committee of the expenditure, linking it to the breakdown of the king's R1,8million S-class Mercedes- Benz in February.

"We are looking into the matter to find out what happened," Mkize said.

This week the acting head of the royal household, Vusi Shongwe, told the committee that the money was spent in hiring a BMW X5 and a Range Rover.

Shongwe said the king's armour-plated Mercedes had incurred "mechanical problems" and had to be towed from Swaziland to South Africa.

He said the king had then put in a request for a Mercedes-Benz S600 to provincial government leaders, including Premier S'bu Ndebele, but had received no response.

Shongwe did not explain why the vehicle had not been repaired.

lIt is estimated that the extra transport costs will set the department's budget back by R3,5million this financial year.

This expenditure comes on on top of the request to replace the aging royal fleet this year for R2,3million.


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