Free State Police Commissioner Masemola

INANDA, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 03: Police Minister Bheki Cele chats to (then) Lt General Sehlahle Fannie Masemola, Deputy National Commissioner of Policing, prior to giving an update on the law enforcement and social cohesion interventions in Phoenix Township at Inanda Police Station on August 03, 2021 in Inanda, South Africa. This briefing follows the unrest in July that resulted in the loss of life and damage to property in Gauteng and KZN. (Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

Free State SAPS paid R15k per car battery and R6.6k per tyre

The Free State SAPS purchased 134 car batteries and 1814 tyres for an exorbitant amount over the past two financial years.

Free State Police Commissioner Masemola

INANDA, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 03: Police Minister Bheki Cele chats to (then) Lt General Sehlahle Fannie Masemola, Deputy National Commissioner of Policing, prior to giving an update on the law enforcement and social cohesion interventions in Phoenix Township at Inanda Police Station on August 03, 2021 in Inanda, South Africa. This briefing follows the unrest in July that resulted in the loss of life and damage to property in Gauteng and KZN. (Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

The South African Police Service’s (SAPS) procurement expenditure in the Free State was laid bare by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, in a parliamentary reply to questions from the Democratic Alliance (DA).

FREE STATE SAPS EXPENDITURE QUESTIONED

According to Cele’s answers, the Free State SAPS spent more than R1.9 million on 134 car batteries over the past two financial years, which amounts to almost R15 000 per battery.

It also procured 1814 tyres over the same period at a cost of just over R12 million. This cost the public purse an average of R6600 per tyre.

The opposition party said it would submit follow-up questions to Cele about the details of the services providers the items were procured from with the intention of approaching the Public Protector to ask for an investigation into the expenses.

“This, whilst the crime rate for serious crimes such as murder, rape and assault are still increasing in the Free State and visible policing, rural safety units and other vital resources are missing. The SAPS clearly has its priorities wrong,” said George Michalakis, the DA spokesperson for Security and Justice in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

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