ICD not yet probing protector case

2011-03-11 20:48

Johannesburg - The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) will not yet probe the "incident" at the Public Protector's office last week when police officers demanded documents related to a report implicating police chief Bheki Cele and Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde in misconduct.

ICD executive director Francois Beukman said in a statement on Friday: "Since the police investigation is already underway and the two SAPS (SA Police Service) members involved have already been suspended, the ICD will await the outcome of the SAPS investigation."

He said the ICD had received requests to investigate possible misconduct by the police officials involved in the unauthorised operation on March 2.

"The ICD has received complaints from third parties to investigate possible misconduct or offences allegedly committed by members of the SAPS with regard to the incident that took place at the Public Protector's office on March 2 2011.

"I have written to the National Police Commissioner, General Bheki Cele, this morning (on Friday) and have, in accordance with section 53(6)(b) of the SAPS Act, requested that the ICD be provided with a copy of the final report in respect of the SAPS investigation, once the said report has been completed.

"The ICD will then consider the final report and will make a further determination, if applicable, at that stage. Once the ICD has received and studied the aforesaid report, it will consider what further action should be taken."

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela last month released a report about an "unlawful" R500m lease agreement for police headquarters.

She criticised Cele for authorising the agreement and said the public works department should never have signed the lease agreement.

Madonsela said Cele's conduct breached the Constitution, the Public Finance Management Act, Treasury regulations and supply chain management rules and policies.

"This conduct was improper, unlawful and amounted to maladministration," she said.

Police visited the Public Protector's office - in what spokesperson McIntosh Polela called an "unauthorised" operation - and demanded that certain documents pertaining to the report be handed over to them.

Cele has denied that he acted unlawfully and distanced himself from the police visit to Madonsela's office.


- SAPA

Read more on:    gwen mahlangu-nkabinde  |  bheki cele  |  thuli madonsela  |  johannesburg  |  police
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