Thandi Shongwe’s state Merc had ‘minor damages’

A panel beater who was responsible for the repair of Mpumalanga Legislature speaker Thandi Shongwe’s car said the car had minor damages.

Earlier it was reported that the purchase of a new vehicle was a result of the other one not being safe for use because of the damages it sustained during an accident.

Shongwe now owns two Mercs following the road accident in 2015.

Callie Carlson of the company that repaired the vehicle told the Ziwaphi newspaper that the state Merc which they fixed had minor damages.

“The damage was only on the left front,” he said.

“It’s small stuff,” Carlson said. “But the value (of the parts) at the end of the day is very (high),” he said.

SEE ALSO: Ziwaphi report, a complete fabrication of fact – Mpumalanga Speaker

The brand new iridium silver Mercedes Benz ML 500 was purchased in 2014 but in 2015 it got involved in an accident and the purchase of another, a Merc  GLE 500  – also iridium silver in colour –  was approved.

STATE-OF-THE-ART: Thandi Shongwe’s new Merc GLE 500. Pictured here at the Mpumalanga provincial disaster management building. PICTURE BY MfisoDIGITAL/ZK

The first iridium silver Merc reportedly cost R1.3m while the latest cost R1.5m and the speaker’s choice of colour was supposedly to hide it from opposition parties noticing she had bought another one.

Legislature spokeswoman Zamagambu Gamede had said the ML 500 could not cater for the speaker’s needs as it was damaged and not safe, hence the need to purchase the GLE.

Carlson said: “The damage was only on the left front.

Carlson also said the damage was “cosmetic”.

“It’s not like [it was] a structural damage,” he said.

(edited by MLM)

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