‘Stop speculating on Cele probe’

2011-02-07 12:44

The public protector today dismissed as speculation a report on the probe into a multimillion-rand lease deal by national police commissioner General Bheki Cele.

“As far as we are concerned, the information contained in the story in question does not represent the public protector’s findings in the matter as the report is still being finalised,” spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said on behalf of public protector, advocate Thuli Madonsela.

The Sunday Times reported on several “explosive conclusions” contained in official documents submitted to the protector and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on the transaction.

This followed revelations in the same newspaper last year that Cele had agreed to a R500-million lease agreement for the building in Pretoria with property tycoon Roux Shabangu, allegedly without following tender procedures.

The most recent report claimed the conclusions included that Cele’s deal to relocate the police headquarters was illegal and should have been cancelled through an urgent high court application.

It also claimed that the deal contravened the constitution, the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury regulations and should not have been approved.

The investigation is being conducted jointly by the public protector and the SIU.

Madonsela called on the media to stop “speculating” about the findings of the report on the investigation.

“To date, the Public Protector has been evaluating comments received from three organs of state and one complainant.

“An additional witness was also interviewed. The draft report is being scrutinised with a view to establish whether any of the new information calls for the review of any of the findings.”

Madonsela planned to release the report by the middle of February.

This would be after she had sent a draft report of the probe to complainant Paul Hoffman, who is a director of the SA Institute for Accountability, Cele and the ministers of police and public works and the accounting officers of the police and public works departments.?

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