Cele not corrupt, official testifies

2012-03-05 16:21
Pretoria - A former senior police official did not believe suspended police commissioner Bheki Cele was corrupt, a board of inquiry heard on Monday.

"It is not my contention that General Cele is corrupt. It is not in my statement," Lieutenant General Hamilton Hlela, a former police procurement boss and deputy national police commissioner told the inquiry in Pretoria into Cele's conduct.

"I would have laid a corruption charge if I felt he was guilty."

Hlela, who resigned in August 2010, was the first to testify in the misconduct inquiry.

Questioning by Vincent Maleka, for Cele, revolved around Hlela's responsibility as procurement officer within the SA Police Service at the time.

Hlela said he took responsibility for the actions of his subordinates, but that Cele signed the leases for police office space.

Maleka acknowledged that signing constituted approval, but said processes had taken place before then which were Hlela's responsibility. Hlela admitted this was correct.

Hlela identified the need for a suitable building for police headquarters from as early as 2004, and later a site.

Earlier, evidence leader Viwe Notshe, SC, said he would prove through a statement made by Hlela that Cele was corrupt.

Notshe said evidence would be submitted that Cele contravened provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, Government Immovable Assets Management Act, and Treasury regulations, among other guidelines. He intended calling on four witnesses.

Cele was present at the inquiry and sat next to Maleka, listening attentively. Behind him sat his wife Thembeka.

Read more on:    police  |  bheki cele  |  police lease saga

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