Protector rejects minister's claims

2011-09-28 21:43
Pretoria - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday dismissed claims by Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde that two controversial leases were endorsed before she became public works minister.

On Tuesday last week the public works minister claimed: "These contracts were entered into before I became minister."

However, at a news briefing in Pretoria, Madonsela said the initial lease for Pretoria’s Middestad building had not been signed when Mahlangu-Nkabinde became minister of the department on November 1 last year.

"The lease we are taking to court right now happened under the minister’s supervision."

According to Madonsela the lease was signed on November 22.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde's predecessor Geoff Doidge, who is now the South African ambassador to Sri Lanka, had put the deal on hold pending the completion of Madonsela's investigation.

"At the time the minister came [to be minister], the lease as we know it now had not yet been signed."

The public works department received advice from senior counsel Pat Ellis on the same day "indicating that the original purported lease was invalid", Madonsela said.

She said the department should have cancelled the deal after this advice.

Last week Mahlangu-Nkabinde applied to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to have the lease, signed with businessman Roux Shabangu for police office space, declared null and void.

At the time she said: "I cannot be held responsible for what happened before my time, but I can promise that we will get to the bottom of all irregularities."

Speaking about the lease in Durban, also with Shabangu, Madonsela said: "Durban had no lease until this minister came [into office].

"We were just saved by fate. We would have lost the money, more than a billion, in Durban."

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
40 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
The best-kept secrets of electric cars

The secret day-to-day benefits of driving an electric car.

/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

10 of the most expensive things that will leave your jaw hanging!
Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency towards setting your expectations too high which will result in disappointment. Try not to let your thoughts...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.