MANZINI – The Auditor General's Office (AG) has initiated an investigation into government vehicle rentals.

This occurred when the news revealed that the Ministry of (ICT) hired Princess Sikhanyiso, a sedan for E1 100, in a day. The borrowed car was a premium Toyota Lexus sedan, handed over to Capital Car Hire. In May of last year, Princess Sikhanyiso was among the Ministers who received completely new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 3.0D VX cars, which cost the public around E38 million.

Thus according to tender No. 132 of 2021/22, she was driving a Toyota Lexus hired for roughly E1 100 per day until the new automobiles arrived. She refused to take ownership of the Prado, and it sat in the Central Transport Administration (CTA), rusting away before it was almost burned through an incendiary assault on January 4, 2022. the ICT ministry officials recovered the car barely two days after the incident.


After that, the Auditor General (AG)'s officer, Timothy Matsebula, was contacted to see if this was considered an audit question. He was also questioned whether this was a waste of government funds and whether his office would initiate an inquiry. Matsebula responded that buying the vehicles for cabinet members was done to save revenue for the state. That's required to be assessed, he argued, was whether or not a security concern existed. The Attorney General agreed that a lot transpired last year.

Statements from PS of ICT

Matsebula noted that it was not an investigation issue, even though he had not brought up the subject. However, he said that the investigation began long before the minister's issue became public. The AG stated he couldn't remark on this issue because it wasn't yet an audit inquiry. Maxwell Masuku, the Principal Secretary (PS) in ICT, told this magazine that he's the one who recommended that the minister should keep using the hired vehicle, citing her security during the political turbulence.

Masuku further claimed that the state saved money on the expenses of maintaining the rental car by returning it to its proprietors, who were liable for the maintenance rather than the govt. He assumed that if the minister had used the Toyota Prado allotted for the same time, the government might have borne the cost of maintenance.


Princess Sikhanyiso is no stranger to criticism, having taken an extended sick leave for two years, which is believed to have affected the taxpayer a lot. And on their objection that giving her a paycheck while on sabbatical was unethical, she claimed she had repaid the amount. She explained that her parental leave had been extended due to issues during the delivery of her child.