The North West government has added another project on its to-do list.
Apart from erecting a six-metre tall bronze statue of Jacob Zuma in Groot Marico, North West, the provincial government will soon buy a new fancy wheel for its premier Supra Mahumapelo.
Supra Mahumapelo, who is also the innovator of the controversial Zuma statue will soon be cruising in a vehicle valued at R1.4 million, as stipulated in the ministerial handbook.
The Citizen reported that the development was confirmed by the premier’s office on Tuesday.
His spokesperson Brian Setswambung reportedly said in a statement:
“Premier Mahumapelo has been using two vehicles which he inherited from his two predecessors, premiers Maureen Modiselle and Thandi Modise, which had not only clocked over 250,000 and 190,000 kilometers respectively but had stuck on a number of occasions due to mechanical problems.
…This despite the SAPS [SA Police Service] VIP Protection Unit warning premier Mahumapelo that using old cars that are way beyond the prescribed 120,000km and tend to be unreliable can put both his life and those of his protectors at risk.”
Setswambung also disclosed that the premier wants Members of Executive Council to exercise cost saving measures when buying cars for government officials by purchasing a vehicle with a total cost of R1.1 million – saving R300,000 of public funds.
Meanwhile, Mahumapelo has reiterated his readiness to erect the controversial statue despite backlashes from opposition groups, who argued that it is not a priority.
He compared the statue to Nelson Mandela Capture Site artwork in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal and asked opposition groups to back off.
“That statue is going to be constructed. It’s a decision of the executive of the province. We owe nobody an apology in honoring a leadership that has made a sacrifice and contribution to the liberation of South Africans. What is wrong in having a capture side of president Zuma?” premier Supra said.
But the leader of the DA in the North West province, Joe McGluwa, insisted that a statue of Jacob Zuma in Gopane is just as useless to the people of Gopane as Nkandla is to the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
He pointed out that the statue will end up chasing tourists away, not attracting them.
“The six-metre tall bronze statue of Jacob Zuma, which I have called a monument to corruption and unemployment, will be the Nkandla of the North West. The statue will be a multimillion-rand splurge of public money, to exalt and deify Jacob Zuma, taking money from the public and leaving the people poorer,” he said.
The North West premier has been accused of corruption and has been asked to resign immediately. Last week, the North West Business Forum (NWBF) embarked on a peaceful protest; calling on the ANC to either stand with the Premier or the people.
NWBF general secretary Sello Mogodiri told reporters that Premier Supra had threatened them with a legal suit.
“The premier has sent us lawyers letter to silence us. We dare him to continue with the legal suit. It will give us a rare opportunity to go with him pound for pound to tell the court and show evidence of corruption.”
The premier also apologized to the National Assembly last week for insulting an opposition MP during the 2017 SONA.
Supra was the ANC MP who shouted “F*ck You” at DA’s John Steenhuisen after he raised his view on how unfit President Jacob Zuma was.