Police lease: Minister studying report
Pretoria - Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde will comment within
the next 30 days on the Public Protector's report into the SA police's lease
agreement for the Middestad Building in Pretoria.
Speaking at a press conference in Pretoria on Tuesday, Mahlangu-Nkabinde
said she was still reading the report released last month by Thuli Madonsela
and would comment once she had fully studied it.
She said she respected the Public Protector, and denied a media report that
quoted her as saying that the report was "shallow and superficial".
Last year it was reported that national police commissioner Bheki Cele had
agreed to a R500m lease agreement for the building in Pretoria with property
tycoon Roux Shabangu, allegedly without following tender procedures.
Mahlangu-Nkabinde said she had been in contact with Shabangu two or three
times, including a telephone call where he said "I want to tell you my
side of the story."
Madonsela found that Cele was guilty of improper conduct and
maladministration when the police entered into the lease.
Mahlangu-Nkabinde has been in possession of the Public Protector's report
for the past month.
Madonsela found that the accounting officer of the public works department
was also guilty of improper conduct and maladministration.
She also said the lease between the public works department and Shabangu's
Roux Property Fund was invalid.
Madonsela said the public works department's decision to continue with the
deal despite legal opinion advising against it amounted to maladministration.
She also 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.