Cele's defence team comes out fighting

2012-03-05 14:39
Pretoria - Suspended police chief Bheki Cele's defence team warned on Monday against a "general tendency" of promising evidence that failed to prove anything in the end.

"We will avoid that general tendency...where you promise much in opening statement, but deliver less," lawyer Vincent Maleka told the inquiry in Pretoria into Cele's conduct.

In his opening address State advocate Viwe Notshe said he would lead evidence to show Cele was corrupt. He cited a written statement by former police procurement head and deputy national police commissioner Hamilton Hlela, who had previously claimed Cele gave him direct orders to lease two buildings in Pretoria and Durban.

Hlela resigned in August 2010.

No proof

"We have carefully considered and analysed the statement by General Hlela. Nothing comes to establish claims of corruption. His statement does not prove that," said Maleka.

"We will debate that statement. We hope you won't avoid the essence of the questions."

Maleka said if the State advocates relied on Hlela's statement, they would not fulfil their promise made to the board, "in bold terms", to prove the misconduct allegations against Cele.

Late last year, a report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Cele's actions pertaining to two leases for new police headquarters in Pretoria and Durban, valued at R1.6bn, were "improper and unlawful".

These findings would form part of the evidence at the inquiry.

Madonsela’s report has also pitted Cele against Hlela, a close confidant of former police commissioner Jackie Selebi.

Cele has maintained that Hlela and the public works department were responsible for finding offices.

On the other hand, Hlela has claimed Cele was instrumental in identifying the Middestad building in Pretoria and the Transnet building in Durban.

The board was appointed by President Jacob Zuma in October last year to evaluate allegations against the police chief. In February, the board invited members of the public to disclose any information that could help determine whether Cele was fit to hold office.

Cele, who was present at the inquiry on Monday, was suspended last year with full salary, allowances, privileges and benefits pending the outcome of the probe.

Notshe said that he intend calling four witnesses to testify on Monday.

He suggested Hlela be called to testify first because he was "pivotal to issues" the State wanted to address.

Read more on:    police  |  hamilton hlela  |  bheki cele  |  police lease saga  |  corruption

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
27 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.