The Eswatini ministry of public works and transport has confirmed receiving a fleet of new BMWs.
The media statement by Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe, the minister of public works and transport was issued on Friday after Sowetan broke the story of 79 BMW X3 SUVs and BMW 540 cars which were delivered to the kingdom from the German carmaker's Rosslyn, Pretoria, plant on Thursday evening.
The delivery follows that of 15 Rolls Royces which were shipped into SA through the Durban port and delivered to the King Mswati III's Manzini royal palace a week ago.
Twelve trucks loaded with the latest model BMW X3 SUVs and BMW 540 sedans, mostly navy blue in colour and some white, waited for hours in Carolina, about 100km from the Oshoek Swazi border post.
They were only escorted by Eswatini security personnel from Carolina into the kingdom, bypassing all border gate processes and protocols, after dusk.
Ndwandwe in a statement said the department was "taking this opportunity to inform the public that it has taken delivery of a fleet of cars and motorcycles for escort duties".
"The process to replace the existing fleet started in 2016, consistent with the prevailing government policy of replacing Government vehicles after five years," Ndwandwe said.
He said the "purchasing of the fleet went through a tender process in line with government policy" and an order was made to the manufacturer in July last year.
Formerly known as Swaziland, the monarchy left opposition party, the People’s United Democratic Movement (Pudemo), fuming as it appeared to ignore calls for government employees to be remunerated better, and instead doubled down by ordering nearly 100 BMWs which were delivered on Thursday last week.
Around 700 public servants rallied in the capital Mbabane on Thursday against the rule of Mswati, whom they accused of draining public coffers.
The biggest opposition party in the country, the People’s United Democratic Movement (Pudemo), has since released a statement criticising King Mswati III over the delivery of Rolls Royces. The king had shown his people the middle finger following the delivery of the luxury cars, said the party.
The party’s secretary-general Wandile Dludlu condemned the purchase of luxury vehicles.
“In Swaziland, public sector workers have not received salary adjustments in three years and the health system has totally collapsed, rendering the poorest of the poor vulnerable,” he said in a statement.
“Tertiary institutions have also closed down due to student unrest caused by the regime’s failure to cater for their tuition fees, text book fees, accommodation and other expenses.”
– Sowetan / Celeb Gossip