Manuel blasted over R1,2m BMW

FORMER finance minister and now Minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel, more than anyone else, is expected to understand the need for austerity, according to opposition parties.

FORMER finance minister and now Minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel, more than anyone else, is expected to understand the need for austerity, according to opposition parties.

This after it was revealed that Manuel has joined the government's "bling brigade" and purchased a BMW valued at over R1million.

The vehicle is said to have cost the taxpayer R1,2million including accessories amounting to R99200.

Congress of the People spokesperson Phillip Dexter said the party was disappointed to learn about Manuel's purchase .

"Of all the Cabinet ministers who should be most sensitive to the plight of ordinary South Africans in the face of the recession, it should be Trevor Manuel."

Dexter said the fact that Manuel's splurge came in the wake of reports about Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa having wasted taxpayers money at five star hotels was "a further sign that members of the ruling party are completely out of touch with reality".

DA MP Lindiwe Mazibuko said Manuel went against his public utterances about the need for the government to root out wastage and setting aside selfish intentions among its officials. "In short, Manuel's acquisition is inappropriate, exorbitant and contrary to his repeated calls for austerity in these troubling economic times."

Mazibuko questioned Manuel's assertion that his vehicle was fitted with "standard extras". "This reveals the true motivation for these extravagant purchases - they are not tools to help the ministers do their jobs. They are extensions of the ministers' egos."

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