Minister to meet protector over lease

2011-05-24 22:28

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Pretoria - Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde will meet Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Friday, a spokesperson says.

Kgalalelo Masibi said that the two would be meeting in connection with Madonsela's report into the police's lease agreement of the Pretoria building.

She said she could not provide further details on the meeting, but added that Madonsela's report into another police lease in Durban was expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Comment could not be obtained from Mahlangu-Nkabinde's spokesperson Obakeng Modikoe.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde failed to meet her own deadline to comment on the Public Protector's report.

She said on March 22 that she was still reading the 92-page report released a month earlier by Madonsela and would comment within 30 days once she had fully studied it.

Obakeng said last month: "It has not happened yet. We have to be patient, it will happen.

"There are still processes that need to take place like the investigation by [Justice Minister Jeff] Radebe and [Secretary of Cabinet Cassius] Lubisi."

The report emanates from a Sunday Times article last year that national police commissioner Bheki Cele had signed a R500m lease for the Pretoria building with property tycoon Roux Shabangu, allegedly without following tender procedures.

Madonsela found Cele was guilty of improper conduct and maladministration when the police entered into the lease.

She also found the public works department's accounting officer guilty of improper conduct and maladministration, saying the lease was invalid.

Furthermore, the public works department's decision to continue with the deal, despite legal opinion advising against it, amounted to maladministration.

Madonsela recommended that Cabinet, at its first meeting, demand an explanation from Mahlangu-Nkabinde on why she decided to continue with the lease, despite legal opinion to the contrary.

However, Mahlangu-Nkabinde was granted a reprieve by Cabinet on March 17 from explaining her decision until Madonsela had also completed her probe into plans to rent Durban offices.

Madonsela had said she hoped the Durban probe would shed more light onto relations between the police and Shabangu, as many people involved in the Pretoria deal were also involved in the Durban one.

It is this report from this investigation that Masibi said was expected by month-end.


- SAPA

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