News24

'Minister offered me R50m bribe'

2012-02-26 12:17

Johannesburg - Former public works minister Geoff Doidge offered him R50m to walk away from the R500m police building lease debacle.

This is one of the startling claims made under oath by controversial property mogul Roux Shabangu in an affidavit filed at the North Gauteng High Court this week, in which he fights off attempts by Public Works to cancel his company’s lucrative police lease.

The deal has already claimed the heads of Doidge’s successor, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, and police chief Bheki Cele, who was suspended.

Doidge was fired by President Jacob Zuma at the end of last year. The president did not give reasons for his removal. Doidge now serves as South Africa’s ambassador to Sri Lanka.

A query into Cele’s role in the deal, chaired by Judge Jake Moloi, is scheduled to start in Pretoria next Monday.

Cost effectiveness

Shabangu’s claims come hot on the heels of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s announcement this week that he and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi would review government’s more than 3 000 building leases for their validity and cost effectiveness in the next year.

Nxesi, whose department administers the majority of government’s property deals, admitted this week that his department was in a mess.

Public Works is now trying to cancel the R500m lease with Shabangu’s Roux Property Fund after it originally recommended the Middestad building as new headquarters to the police.

In his affidavit, Shabangu slammed Doidge and the department for placing in jeopardy a R220m financing deal with Nedbank to buy the building.

The lease was cancelled after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that it was awarded to Shabangu without going out to tender and that the behaviour of Cele and Mahlangu-Nkabinde was irregular and unlawful.

Claims

In his affidavit, Shabangu claims:

- Suspended public works director-general Siviwe Dongwana told Nedbank in a letter it would go ahead with the leasing deal, irrespective of the outcome of investigations by Madonsela and the Special Investigating Unit;

- The person who alerted him to the Middestad building was a property broker named “Scholtz”, who said it would be ideal for Statistics SA and the department of public service and administration to rent;

- Public Works official Mokgaetji Tlolane first told him the police wanted to lease the Middestad building;

- Tlolane arranged Shabangu’s first meeting with the SA Police Service. She insisted they wouldn’t go out to tender because accommodation was required “urgently”; and

- Contrary to the state’s version that unauthorised Public Works officials signed off on the deal, an acting Public Works regional manager, Sue Mosegomi, signed the lease without the involvement of police heads.

Cele denies all

Shabangu’s affidavit could bolster Cele’s case when he appears before the commission of inquiry.

The police boss has always claimed he had nothing to do with identifying or leasing the Middestad building.

Shabangu told City Press he was contacted by the commission two weeks ago and asked to give evidence.

However, he requested written questions and provided a “carefully worded” response. In his affidavit Shabangu, who made his millions from selling maize and developing shopping centres, explains that the value of a property depends on long-term leases.

He admits negotiating the police lease before he officially became the owner of Middestad.

“The property could only be acquired, and the necessary financing for that purpose secured, if an appropriate long-term lease with a reliable tenant was secured.”

Smoking gun

The financing from Nedbank, he claims, is also dependent on the lease being reinstated. Shabangu says that in September 2010 he was approached by Doidge to attend a meeting at Durban’s Sibaya Casino.

“This meeting was attended by, among others, Doidge and myself. Doidge said that DPW would pay the respondent (Roux Property Fund) R50m to walk away from the lease.

I, in no uncertain terms, told them that I would not do so,” says Shabangu.

Doidge referred all queries to the Department of Public Works and refused to address Shabangu’s allegations.

Two letters written by Dongwana in November 2010 - that confirm the deal was going ahead - seem to be the smoking gun in Shabangu’s armoury.

The deal may cost taxpayers more than R600m, should the department lose the case. Nedbank only provided funding for the building on receiving Dongwana’s statement.

Comments
  • Ben - 2012-02-26 12:23

    It would seem that some people in senior positions would need to be replaced and most importanly the proceeds of corruption and all oter illegal practices be paid back.

      Dirk - 2012-02-26 13:11

      The consequences? Plenty of money but no government or officials. Sounds like an utopia to me!

      bernpm - 2012-02-26 13:34

      "......would seem that some people in senior positions would need to be replaced...." They will at best be suspended with full pay or they will become ambassador in some remote valley of the world.

      Steyn - 2012-02-26 15:49

      :- it would seem that the wrong people are elected into senior positions.

      jan.roodt1 - 2012-02-26 16:19

      @Steyn - don't think there is anything better to elect in the not so new SA.

      Steyn - 2012-02-26 16:38

      ...it's time for OCCUPY UNION BUILDING "wiff" a massa-braai :-)

      Francois - 2012-02-26 18:04

      If Doidge in fact did offer a bribe and it is comfirmed, he should get back to SA and be charged and if convicted, should share a cell with Selebi. If Zuma knew and that was his reasoning for sending Doidge to Sri Lanka, he should also be charged on conspiracy and if found guilty, get the cell next to it. If Cele's signature is on a document that confirms an illegal deal, he is not capable of knowing the difference between a legal and illegal deal and thus not fit to command the very institution that is to know the very difference for every law. Thus whether he is fit (not referring to workouts in his expensive gim that we got for him) to hold that position should actually only depend on whether his signature is on that document. I think Roux is going to die in a car crash soon.

      Fredster - 2012-02-27 07:04

      ..and so we the public pay for it...and wait...the new tolls, we pay some more...and then some

  • Larry - 2012-02-26 12:36

    Anything is possible with these people. What is fact though is it is riddled with corruption.

      Barend - 2012-02-26 21:03

      Things like this gets me boiling with anger at the ANC. How they are still in office goes beyond my understanding. The cost of livng have just skyrocketed because f ncidents like this. The philosophy seems to be - I will do less for more anr in return we all get less and pay more. God help us.

  • Tristan - 2012-02-26 12:53

    Doidge was fired by President Jacob Zuma at the end of last year. The president did not give reasons for his removal. Doidge now serves as South Africa’s ambassador to Sri Lanka!!!!!! NOW HOW DO YOU FIGURE THAT ONE OUT HUH???, YOU GET FIRED FOR CORRUPTION/FRAUD AND THEN GIVEN A NICE CUSHY JOB ELSEWHERE AS AN AMBASSADOR IN ANOTHER COUNTRY!!!, WATCH OUT SRI LANKA AND KEEP YOUR EYES ON HIM AND THE COUNTRIES BANK ACCOUNT!

      hans.valkhoff - 2012-02-26 13:09

      So very right!

      paulgerber969 - 2012-02-26 16:19

      Typical ANC Modus operandi. Get fired and then given a cushy job to keep quite

  • Utopian - 2012-02-26 12:55

    Nedbank should be ashamed for their obvious collusion in defrauding the South African public. I have experience in applying for a business load from Nedbank after being awarded a tender and before they granted the loan i had to provide proof that the tender was legally issued. It seems that those precautions are wavered when tax payers are the ones who are responsible for repaying the debt

      simon.bloch - 2012-02-26 14:42

      Occupy Nedbank! A run on your money would put them out of business.

  • Ron - 2012-02-26 12:57

    Corrupt politicians should immediately be banned from politics and blacklisted in a public database so that they cannot get another job in either the public or private sectors.

      Barend - 2012-02-26 21:11

      That will only happen when some party other than the anc is in power. At this point I firmly believe that my 10 year old nephew and his class mates can do a better job and they cant even read properly yet

  • Ronald - 2012-02-26 13:13

    What I would like to know is how could Roux be awarded a long term contract on a building he did not own. He clearly had advance notice not available to the general public or most government officials that caused him to put an offer in to buy this building and others, including the finance arrangements. This boils down to insider trading in Securities Exchange circles, but normal for those well connected. Stay out of the kitchen if you can't stand the heat, Shabangu.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-02-26 22:43

      The plot is so complicated, I lost interest halfway through. There will be no ultimate guilty party in this case. They are playing the system.

  • braamc - 2012-02-26 13:22

    That Nedbank is equally vrot van die fraud and corruption, should close down.

  • Ali - 2012-02-26 13:37

    "Doidge was fired by President Jacob Zuma at the end of last year. The president did not give reasons for his removal. Doidge now serves as South Africa’s ambassador to Sri Lanka." why if the anc fired someone they are actually just transferred?get rid of them please" every1 ends up as some highly paid ambassador somewhere. How can you be a good ambassador with shady dealings? That's a terrible ambassador.

      Neville - 2012-02-26 15:25

      jUST SHIFT THE PROBLEM

      Jacqui - 2012-03-05 14:37

      Yes, just look at the one in Washington.

  • herman.brummer - 2012-02-26 13:51

    Wow, 'Minister offered me R50m bribe'

      Arnold - 2012-02-26 17:14

      To be paid with whose f%^king money????

  • Mantsho - 2012-02-26 14:33

    I say we need a new government, we dont have choice, we are stucked with this crooked government even if you vote for somebody else they still win because majority are sleeping too much! thats why when they suffer and struggle l dont care!

      Barry - 2012-02-27 08:52

      SA do not have to be stuck with this government, democracy is not just about having a vote, it is about having a choice. Currently there is no democracy is SA as there is no choice, it is a one party state. You are 100% right about the majority sleeping. They vote ANC and complain about service delivery for how many years now? The majority have not been educated as to the true meaning of the vote and the power it could have when used correctly.

      Zion - 2012-02-27 09:07

      Barry, Well said. what I like about the electorate is after the democratic elections have come and gone, a month or less later, the electorate takes to the streets to complain about service delivery. That same service delivery they were toi-toi'ing for after the previous election.

  • Sinudeity - 2012-02-26 14:42

    Scumbags. All of them.

  • Neville - 2012-02-26 15:20

    It SOUNDS LIKE A COVER UP FOR FRIENDS

  • grenville.felton - 2012-02-26 16:22

    50BAR of the tax paying public Geoffrey Doidge do the right thing minus the golde nhandshakes fuc..... crook go to prison like the rest of the ANC crooks

  • brainbowgold - 2012-02-26 16:36

    Opposition parties - time to feast!

  • Willem - 2012-02-26 17:19

    Cry Beloved People! Civilized (tax) laws can never be legal for illegal use. Yet many public reports indicate illegal tax abuse of amassed trillions for corruption over decades. While political powers have absolute control to prevent corruption, recover any and still tax this illegal income, and dismiss corrupters. Breaching legal duties is illegal too. Illegal tax implicitly feeds protected corrupters, and discriminates against poor masses and enslaved taxpayers. Honesty by all will slash tax for all and end poverty. Blatant corruption and murderous oppression of poorest protesters against rotten services beg: How can power abusers represent free and honest elections by the people?

  • John - 2012-02-26 17:38

    and they expect us to pay taxes

      Claude - 2012-02-26 21:03

      When are the TAXPAYERS going to revolt? We and the employed have too much to loose. So we sit with the status quo...Those employed by government, ngo's, big business, and the investors have everything to loose. When we revolt by not paying taxes, EVERYBODY looses, EXCEPT the fat cats. They don't have the morality, intelligence, work ethic, responsibility, etc, etc, that a normal person has.

  • Alex - 2012-02-26 20:33

    There is just too much money out there and people don't seem to know what to do with it. The tragedy is that you need to be corrupt to get into the loop or else remain poor for the rest of your life.

  • salominaboskasie - 2012-02-26 21:37

    Doidge now serves as South Africa’s ambassador to Sri Lanka!?? What duh!?

  • Silvana - 2012-02-27 05:35

    This is sickening. Is there any government department that is NOT corrupt? How much money is enough to stop them from taking bribes? The best is when found out they get shipped off to faraway places to be ambassadors. That makes a mockery of the word. They are ambassadors of greed and corruption. The whole bunch should have their assets confiscated and jailed for bringing South Africa into disrepute.

  • Holden - 2012-02-27 09:03

    Xolani Mbanjwa is a dumb journalist. The government would we doing the right thing by offering R50 Million to settle the matter. It would save five years of litigation and R50 Million in advocates fees so a quick settlement offer is the right way to go about it. Mr Shabangu wasn't bribed but, in all probability, he paid Bheki Cele and 'incentive' to enter into leases with his company.

      Jacqui - 2012-03-05 14:40

      Holden, one can always find an excuse. Even your head in the sand is an excuse.

  • brandonmichael.onions - 2012-03-02 12:04

    People should just draw all there funds out of Nedbank and NOT PAY TAX, that way both "institutions" will feel the pain, we as Hard working South African's feel when our hard earned "tax" money is thrown down the Toilet.... "ministers" like this should be shot and thrown into jail, NOT a SA jail mind you but a Thai jail, with one meal every 3 days of rice......and water....

  • Jacqui - 2012-03-05 14:33

    Doidge is Ambassador and Cele will be too. This is how South African politics work. No wonder corruption will never go away.

  • Itse - 2012-03-05 20:36

    This Roux Shabangu is corrupt and should be deported for criminal activities.

  • Raxxis - 2012-03-10 07:38

    "Nxesi, whose department administers the majority of government’s property deals, admitted this week that his department was in a mess." Tell us something we don't know. Tell me again why we must pay taxes to this bunch of moronic buffoons?

  • Jonathan - 2012-03-31 16:09

    Why is Geoff Doidge still working for the government and then as ambassador? I thought that one have to be someone that we as South Africans can look up too and be proud to represent SA in anothjer country.

  • Nigel - 2012-04-20 08:34

    the ANC Government knows no end to waste of taxpayers money, how many water or electricity connections can they provide with the money they waste or steal.

  • Deon - 2012-04-20 09:07

    What I cannot understand from the ANC government, when one of their cadres is found guilty of theft, he is simply removed from office and gets deploy somewhere else in government.

  • anthony.kay.965 - 2012-08-23 00:03

    There is an old saying: can you steal? Yes can you hide? No! Then, don't steal.

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