Zulu told the public protector her response was based on the cars the department was using at the time and that she had not seen the adjusted budget.
“According to Ms Zulu‚ when a budget is approved in Parliament‚ the document is not immediately available to the Minister‚ but is published on the National Treasury website to be accessed by the Department’s CFO and Accounting Officer. The document is then routed via submissions to the Minister’s office‚” the public protector report said.
Zulu told parliament on March 15 this year the department bought a BMW 540i valued at R874‚876 for her and another BMW 540i valued at R944‚376 instead of the three cars initially budgeted for.
“The vehicles that were planned to be purchased were abandoned because of the cost of the Mercedes Benz E400 and the BMW X5 was also abandoned because of the price difference. The Lexus was not bought because it was not contained in the list of the budgeted vehicles …”
According to the ministerial handbook‚ departments can buy two official cars for the minister and deputy ministers respectively when a current car has 120‚000km in mileage or is older than five years.