By Confidente Reporter
THE official luxurious E-class Mercedes Benz of Home Affairs Minister, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana was reportedly written-off recently after a relative allegedly took it without her approval and got into an accident, Confidente has learnt.
The relative reportedly without the minister’s approval took the vehicle estimated at over N$730 000, that was purchased with taxpayers’ money during the 2014/2015 fiscal year while Ivula- Ithana was on an official mission in the Zambezi region.
Confirming the matter, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Willem Goeiemann said that although he was briefed about the incident he is yet to get the report. “I have been briefed about the matter but I cannot comment further until I see the report. I am still waiting to get the report,” Goeiemann said.
Goeiemann could however not confirm or deny whether the vehicle is written-off. He also could not comment on the extent of the vehicle’s damage as a result of the accident.
Contacted for comment, Iivula-Ithana said that she was not in town when the incident happened referring questions to Nampol. “I spent two weeks in the east know the police guard our properties whether we are around or not. So it is best you ask the police about this matter because if I comment I will either be incriminating or protecting myself,” Iivula- Ithana said. so I was not in town. You
Iivula-Ithana however did not confirm or deny whether her relative was the driver at time of the incident.
A police source on condition of anonymity said that it would be difficult for officers guarding the vehicles to prohibit relatives and especially children of the elite from driving the vehicles because they do so with impunity. “It’s difficult for these officers to tell relatives and children of these big people not to drive the vehicles because they do it anyway. They all have access to these vehicles.”
Meanwhile sources within the works ministry said that procedure dictates that such vehicles are driven by authorised drivers with a valid trip authority that is issued on a monthly basis.
“The Ministry of Works issues trip authorities on a monthly basis with the driver’s details on it. No relatives are allowed to drive these vehicles unless they are given permission by the PS,” the sources said.
The sources added that because the vehicle was taken without the minister’s permission, the latter will have to open a case of theft against the driver and present an accident report. “Failure to do so will result in the Ministry of Home Affairs paying the Works Ministry for the vehicle’s damage because this translates to recklessness.”
The vehicle was amongst a fleet of new state of the art luxurious cars purchased by Government through the Ministry of Works nearly two years ago for the new Cabinet at a total cost of an estimated N$100 million. They were bought nearly five years after the last purchase.
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