Cele defends new building

2010-08-03 11:23
Pretoria – Police commissioner General Bheki Cele has defended the need for new premises leased to for R500m over the next ten years.

At a briefing convened to clarify an "incorrect and worse, misleading" Sunday Times article, Cele told the media in Pretoria on Tuesday that he did not sign the lease agreement for an 18-storey building in the capital city but only signed a needs assessment.

"Let me stress that this is where my role as the accounting officer for the SA Police Service ends."

Cele also denied that he knew businessman Roux Shabangu who owned the building.

He said he was perturbed as to why a reputable newspaper would publish incorrect facts.

As the general of the police he endeavoured to enforce the code of conduct while striving not to be influenced by prevailing media outcry, he said.

"I must however indicate that unwarranted negative publicity can drive one into the debate of a media tribunal. It is such ill experiences as I have observed that can drive one to pose a question, is this a calculated targeted campaign in the name of media freedom?"


Cele said he would be approaching the SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) about the article to discuss what he felt had been a unanimous agreement on the principles of professionalism.

"It is on that shared view that I will again raise the matter with Sanef so they cannot be silent when media houses are deliberately disregarding fundamental journalism ideals," said Cele.

The Sunday Times reported that Cele had signed a R500m property rental deal that would see police headquarters move to the Middestad Sanlam centre in Pretoria, which was owned by Shabangu.

According to the report the deal was not treated as a tender, violating Treasury regulations that all government contracts worth over R500 000 go through a bid process.

The report said Shabangu allegedly signed the rental lease with Cele on June 1, but only purchased the building on Wednesday for R220m.

The police's current headquarters was the Wachthuis building around the corner.

On Tuesday, the department of public works said there was nothing untoward about the deal.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    police  |  bheki cele  |  media

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks want to continue upward curve
We'll do it our way - Les Bleus
Ton-up Giteau defies his own expectations
The game of Heyneke’s life
Traffic Alerts

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.