No reason to question police deal - legal advisor

2012-03-12 18:15
Pretoria - The hearing probing misconduct allegations against suspended police commissioner Bheki Cele was adjourned early on Monday.

This came shortly after evidence leader Viwe Notshe requested a brief private meeting with Cele's attorneys and members of the board of inquiry, which is sitting in Pretoria.

He previously placed it on the record that his team was trying to find suspended public works director general Siviwe Dongwana and another potential witness.

Vincent Maleka, for Cele, called his last witness on Monday - SA Police Service legal advisor General Julius Molefe.

Molefe’s name has featured prominently since the hearing began last week.

He was among the SAPS officials who visited the Middestad building in Pretoria on March 25 2010, with former procurement head Hamilton Hlela.

The building had been chosen for the police's new headquarters.

Molefe testified on Monday that his only link to the Pretoria accommodation issue was that his unit was among those which needed new office space.

No reason to question

He had no reason to question whether procurement processes were followed because Hlela, who was his senior, was handling the matter, he said.

"I was there by coincidence... why would I assume this was being done without General Cele's knowledge? Hlela was head of procurement," Molefe said.

He said he did not see a reason to inform Cele about this meeting, which Cele testified took place without his knowledge.

Earlier on Monday, Cele failed to explain the fact that two buildings identified for police accommodation in Durban and Pretoria were owned by the same man.

He was asked about the coincidence that property mogul Roux Shabangu owned both the Sanlam Middestad building in Pretoria and the Transnet building in Pretoria.

"I can't explain the coincidence... the visits [by some SAPS officials] had taken place without me knowing," Cele told the inquiry.

When asked who should be held accountable when it came to compliance with tender processes, Cele said: "That would be me."

He agreed with inquiry chairperson Jake Moloi that it appeared Shabangu knew in advance about the police's accommodation needs, and that someone was keeping him informed.
Read more on:    police  |  bheki cele  |  durban  |  police lease saga  |  tenders

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