Cele: Only a court can convict me

2011-02-26 10:11

The Public Protector presented her report on Tuesday after a six-month investigation. People who were present at the media conference will have noted the involvement of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the presence of (its head) Mr Willie Hofmeyer.

Something which the media is not aware of is the fact that the SAPS ­addressed Parliament – and I myself met with Mr Hofmeyer – in ­November 2009 to request that the SIU conduct an ­investigation into certain components of the SAPS, including the main supply chain management component, due to ­concerns which myself and senior ­management of the SAPS had.

After being appointed, I realised that there were certain problems which needed to be addressed.

That investigation is ongoing. If officials within the SAPS are found to be implicated in improper activities, ultimate blame will be directed at the accounting officer, who is the person responsible for the SAPS.

In terms of legislation, I am advised that I am entitled to delegate responsibilities but that does not divest me of ultimate responsibility as accounting officer of the SAPS.

This accountability is different from allegations of corruption.

Since the Public Protector commenced her investigation, untrue allegations have been being levelled against me in the media, which suggested that I was responsible for signing the lease for the Sanlam ­Middestad building and that I had an improper relationship with Mr Roux Shabangu.

Of late, there have been bold assertions that the Public Protector has found me “guilty” of something.

To my knowledge, only a court of law can find me guilty of anything. Assertions of corruption have also made their rounds.

To those who are baying for my resignation – my record since I was appointed as national commissioner speaks for itself.

I am also hoping you can read and you will be able to help show me where, in the Public Protector’s final report, it is stated that resignation is one of the remedial actions.

I welcome the findings in the Public Protector’s report in which she finds not only that I did not conclude the lease, but that it was done by the ­Department of Public Works, which is ­responsible for negotiating and concluding leases on behalf of government.

In addition, she found that there was no evidence of an improper relationship between Shabangu and the SAPS.

I have no intention of hiding behind legalistics, and have subjected myself to the process without, of course, ­abandoning my legal rights.

We should not be distracted from the important and primary functions of the national commissioner in regard to ­police activities.

In fulfilling this ­responsibility, I am committed to doing so in accordance with the Constitution and my lawful responsibilities.

» This is an edited version of Cele’s address to the media on Thursday


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