President Zuma is not my friend – Shabangu

2011-06-17 11:25

Roux Shabangu, the businessman who was set to make a fortune from leasing deals with the police, today denied reports that he was a friend of President Jacob Zuma.

Addressing a media conference in Irene, Centurion, Shabangu told journalists that he wished to “rectify” the “so-called” longstanding friendship he had with Zuma.

“I do not have a longstanding friendship whatsoever with our president”, he said.

Shabangu, the owner of Roux Property Fund, did admit to the fact that he was “a supporter of the ANC as a political party”.

He was also a member of the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum.

He pointed out that there was “misreporting” about his alleged relationship with the president.

Shabangu referred briefly to specific controversial leasing deals with the police:

» He hoped that the controversy surrounding the proposed relocation of SAPS headquarters to his Sanlam building in Pretoria city centre “will be resolved soon”.

The matter is the subject of possible litigation, he said, and he could therefore not comment because he did not want to “prejudice anything in this regard”.

But, he said, as far as the public works department is concerned, “the procurement route that was followed was in accordance with their mandate”.

» He was not aware of the fact that the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) was occupying the Vermeulen building in Pretoria: “I only became aware of this when I read (a recent) Mail & Guardian article.

“And it is a gross misrepresentation of facts. They made it sound as though I was being favoured for every lease associated with the SAPS.”

» His company “followed all the procedures and complied with all the requirements set out in the tender document” with regard to the Durban police headquarters lease, he said.

His company does not have an existing lease and have not signed a lease with regard to this property.

This lease is currently being probed by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

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