Cele inquiry: Justice rushed is no justice at all

2012-04-03 20:19


  • Police
    A 'behind the scenes' look at how the emergency services work. Now R310.00
    buy now
Pretoria - Justice delayed is justice denied, and the converse is equally true, Judge Jake Moloi, chairperson of the board of inquiry into the conduct of beleaguered police chief Bheki Cele, said on Tuesday.

The board appreciated the vast considerations it had to make before releasing its report, he said at the end of the second day of closing arguments in the Tshwane council chambers.

"Justice rushed is no justice at all," he said.

"The fact that this matter is of national and international interest needs no further elaboration so that the board should speed up this process and return a report as soon as possible - that's as far as I can commit to go.

"The board has had arguments from both sides. It is incumbent upon the board to go and look at that evidence, assess it and compile the report which must be made available," said Moloi.

"We don't want to rush a report based on no facts at all. We can assure you that… the report will be available soon," he said.

Cele tainted

Moloi commended the media's "widespread coverage of the hearing proceedings". He also saluted other stakeholders who contributed to the running of the event.

In its closing arguments, the evidence-leading team, led by advocate Viwe Notshe SC, insisted that Cele was tainted and that the inquiry had to recommend for his dismissal.

"We submit that if his conduct continues like this, unabated, it will lead to the commission of the crimes he wants to combat," Notshe said.

Some of the witnesses, particularly from the Police and Prisons Civil Rights’ Union (Popcru), were missing the plot, by idolising Cele only because of his contribution to crime combating in the country, he said.

"Combating of crime is one element of the administration. If we do not look after the money, we will not be able to combat crime. If he is a crime fighter and cannot administer money, that is a huge problem."

Notshe slated Cele for the 5 July 5 2010 extension of police's space requirements, which differed from the size approved by the public works department's national bids adjudication board.

"What it means is if the bid adjudication board says you must buy five cars, you will buy 20 because they have said buy cars? That cannot be so. Maladministration of funds is against crime fighting," said Notshe.

He also criticised Cele for approving the extension of space without consulting the police's chief financial officer.

No apology

The space requirement was amended from 21 000 to 25 000m² at a meeting between property tycoon Roux Shabangu, Cele and other police officials.

Notshe said it was disturbing to note that, in light of the findings of the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, Cele had not apologised for his role in the flawed procurement process.

"I waited with bated breath expecting the national commissioner to say: Please forgive me. The findings demonstrate that I am not fit. I took my eyes off the till. Please forgive me.

"We did not get that. We got statements from someone who doesn't appreciate his responsibilities as head of department.

"We submit the board should make a recommendation for his removal. He is unfit to hold office and is incapable of carrying out his duties," Notshe submitted.

Earlier, Cele's representative advocate Vincent Maleka SC urged the inquiry to discard the repeated call for his client to be fired, saying Cele had "discharged his duties as outlined in the Constitution and the [SA Police Services] Act".

Not based on evidence

He said recommending Cele's sacking would be inappropriate.

"It's not based on evidence. We ask you to make a different recommendation. The national commissioner has discharged his duties as outlined in the Constitution and the SAPS Act," said Maleka.

He urged the inquiry to follow in the footsteps of Madonsela, who did not find evidence of an improper relationship between Cele and Shabangu.

Maleka submitted that the Cabinet's view of Cele's conduct should be taken into account as it was significant that the "national Cabinet had not passed a vote of no confidence against General Cele".

"We urge you to take that into account, because it is relevant to the overall conduct of the commissioner.

"We would have thought that the overall conduct of the national commissioner would become more negative to him if Cabinet had expressed a negative view. Cabinet has instead expressed a positive view," said Maleka.

The board of inquiry, appointed by President Jacob Zuma is mandated to establish whether Cele acted corruptly, dishonestly, or with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to two police lease deals signed with Shabangu, one for a building in Pretoria, another for a building in Durban.

It also has to determine his fitness to hold office, and his capacity to efficiently execute his duties.
Read more on:    police  |  roux shabangu  |  bheki cele  |  police lease saga  |  corruption  |  tenders

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
Watch: Insane road bike skills!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

One day only! – 40% off Appliances!

Get 40% off 100’s of appliances at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and you...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.