The city manager of eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, Musa Mbhele, is heavily protected in armoured vehicles with a total value of R20 million, which has raised eyebrows in the municipality.
The officials feel the prices of the vehicles had been inflated. About five armoured Toyota double-cab bakkies are said to have been bought by the City.
Senior officials who spoke on condition of anonymity provided Scrolla.Africa with the number plates of the Toyota bakkies allegedly used to provide security for Mbhele.
“The price of these bakkies come in at about R1.8 million each and we don’t know how the figure of R20 million was arrived at.
“At first the chief financial officer didn’t want to authorise the purchase but he later agreed because the vehicles were already here,” a source said.
Mbhele said that if anyone believes the purchase of the vehicles was fraudulent, they should report the matter to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) or the Public Protector.
“I am worried about this. What are they going to achieve? They want my enemies to know that I am being driven in armoured cars? This is going to compromise my safety. But God will fight for me because they want to damage my reputation,” he said.
Chief financial officer Dr Sandile Mnguni clarified that in the 2022/23 financial year, the City allocated a total of R20 million to acquire a selection of vehicles.
He said the purchases were completed following a total market assessment, ensuring that the City obtained the most suitable options available.
“It’s essential to note that all reports presented to the council received approval from duly authorised officials, and the entire procurement followed due process.
“In consideration of security concerns, we are unable to provide any further details on the matter,” said Mnguni.