While the ANC Elective conference is still underway and the issue of wasteful government spending being yet to be resolved, the SA Police tops the new with yet another millions of taxpayers money being used to purchase bulletproof vests.
According to reports by Sunday Times, the South African Police spent R6.7 million on 200 hi-tech lightweight vests for ballistics testing and an additional R33 million in purchasing vests from Indian manufacturer MKU.
The vest is meant to replace the ones currently used by the SA Police which was worth more than R8, 000 each. The current vests is also said to weigh more much heavier at 8.2kg, than the new vests which weigh just 4.2kg.
Furthermore, a “significant slice” of the money went to a Durban businessman who was involved in arranging the deal with the foreign companies. Worst still, the contract was reportedly awarded without a tender being put out.
The purchase of the new Bullet-proof vests which has been highly criticised as “ridiculous” by the likes of the Institute for Security Studies’ Johan Burger could put the entire SAPS and the Police Minister Fikile Mbalula into another negative spotlight as it is not the first time the SAPS is facing cost controversies such as this.
The report states that the auditor-general, Thembekile Kimi Makwetu could possibly regard the costs of these vests as another irregular expenditure adding to the R45 billion he earlier revealed for the year.
Last month, Makwetu said that irregular expenditure has increased by 55% since the previous year to R45.6 billion. This amount, according to him, could have been higher, as it does not include the irregular expenditure of auditees where audits were still ongoing, including Prasa which had an irregular expenditure of almost R14 billion last year.
Meanwhile, the report about the new irregular spending by the state police has generated much controversy with South Africans calling for an urgent investigation into the “irrelevant” vest purchase by the SA police.
South Africans react to the purchase of the world’s most expensive bulletproof vests by the SA Police on the account of a ballistic testing.