While records from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) show that the department is running short of funds to finance its course, report has it that the National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams drives a car worth R1.2m.
The report was revealed just five days after the parliament was informed that performance bonuses for prosecutors were re-assessed because the National Prosecuting Authority was short of fund.
Shaun Abrahams, who presented the institution’s annual budget and performance plan to Parliament’s justice committee last week reitirated the need for more fund to be pumped for the sustenance of the institution.
Taking the committee through some of the institution’s challenges, the biggest of which was money, Abrahams said that the R3.55bn budget went mainly to national prosecuting services (78.4%), while 13.2% went to support services.
But in a latest development, BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the NPA boss Shaun Abrahams, received a Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d Coupé at the cost of R1 234 157.97.
The statement released on this has it that the vehicle was bought on March 17 2016 as part of G Fleet’s RT57-government contract as approved by the minister of justice and correctional services on January 27 2016.
The RT57 contract is a national contract that makes it possible to buy vehicles from suppliers at reduced rates. The basic GLE 350d Coupé will now cost R1 187 238, according to the latest price list on the Mercedes-Benz website.
Report of the new purchase by the NPA brings to mind the millions allegedly spent on vehicles for government officials since 2014.
Though its not yet clear what kind of cars government officials and ministers use, BuzzSouthAfrica reported that South Africa has spent more than R40m on vehicles for ministers since 2014.
This revelation was made by the series of parliamentary questions the Democratic Alliance (DA) party submitted across all governmental departments.
Based on the replies DA gathered, the party asserted that they “can reveal that the government has spent a total of R 41 960 075.91 on the procurement of luxury vehicles for Ministers and their Deputies between 2014 and 2017.”
The worst offender in the million-rand car purchase is said to be the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform which according to information, splurged an enormous R 5 505 351,65 on cars for Minister Gugile Nkwinti and his deputies.
These monies, according to the Democratic Alliance, could have been used to support “emerging black farmers who are in desperate need of financial assistance from the government.”
Meanwhile to explain how badly the NPA needed funds, NPA’s acting chief director of finance, Hanika van Zyl, said that the programme to train prosecutors had to be stopped due to lack of finance.
She further noted that the NPA was losing an average of 13 people a month, which amounted to almost 100 in the financial year.
The NPA had also started with 4 983 staff members in April, but that number had been whittled down to 4 882 in January, she said.
“With these personnel losses, the NPA was able to save about R42m, if you look at this, we might be able to break even,” she said, but noted that this approach isn’t ideal.