Swaziland's King Mswati III at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Picture: Ray Stubblebine/Reuters

Johannesburg - Swaziland’s Ministry of Public Works and Transport Principal Secretary Makhosini Mndawe has denied that the government bought a fleet of cars worth $7.5 million ahead of King Mswati III’s 50th birthday, Richard Rooney from Swazimedia.blogspot reported.

However, Mndawe’s denial contradicts a report from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

Swaziland marks the King’s birthday and the 50th anniversary of Independence from Great Britain on 19 April 2018 in the so-called 50/50 Celebration.

According to Swaziland’s Sunday Observer, a newspaper owned by the king, Mndawe said dignitaries at the party would be chauffeured in top-of-the-range BMW 740i sedans that were purchased for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit held in 2016.

But the independent Times Sunday reported the Ministry of Public Works and Transport had announced the Emalangeni 89 million ($7.5 million) purchase of the luxury BMW cars in a report tabled in parliament, said Rooney.

“It said the cars would be used by the Close Protection Unit which is responsible for protecting dignitaries.”

There were no further details as to how the vehicles, which were bought through Mbabane’s Central Transport Administration (CTA), were provided.

African News Agency/ANA