Protector's probe into police lease released

2010-12-16 22:22

Johannesburg - The Public Protector has sent a draft report of a probe into the police's R500m lease for new headquarters to several interested parties.

Copies had been sent to the complainant Paul Hoffman, who is director of the SA Institute for Accountability, as well as National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele, the ministers of police and public works and the accounting officers of the police and public works department, the protector's spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said in a statement on Thursday.

"A copy will also be delivered to the minister of finance tomorrow (Friday) for comment on the investigation team's take on the issue of compliance with treasury regulations."

A report had not been sent to the Freedom Front Plus as the party had not yet submitted a written undertaking to keep the draft report's contents confidential.

Responding to a report in The Citizen newspaper that Cele would be allowed to "change" the draft, Segalwe said the parties would merely be allowed to "comment" on it.

"(They) are entitled to be given an opportunity to engage with the basis on which the Public Protector is considering such (potential) adverse findings."

The parties had until January 3 to comment. The report would be finalised and made public "shortly thereafter", Segalwe said, but could not provide a date.

Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde said earlier this month she had honoured the controversial R500m lease for a building to house the police's new headquarters in Pretoria.

"We then took advice from state attorneys and realised that we had to honour this legal agreement, or else we would be sued for the same amount and more in the courts," she was quoted as saying.

The Sunday Times revealed a few months ago that the deal had been signed without a public tender, prompting the Hawks and the Public Protector to investigate.

  • Sinudeity - 2010-12-16 22:53

    "We then took advice from state attorneys and realised that we had to honour this legal agreement, or else we would be sued for the same amount and more in the courts" Using the courts, to avoid skipping on a corrupt tender.

      croix - 2010-12-17 02:55

      Damn right. Why is the findings of this report not made public immediately? It is after all our tax money that will pay for it. Maybe the taxpayers must stand united and sue for the recovery of our money? If the 'state' can use the courts, then so should we. Bloody self - entitlement agent! Cele must pay up ....... He's responsible.

  • charles.nsi - 2010-12-16 22:59

    Why are individuals who sign off these types of fraudulent/suspect deals not held personally accountable? If the individual became accountable for the amount (R500m in this case), my guess is that there would be a lot less raiding of the public coffers.

      Hux - 2010-12-17 07:22

      They are not held responsible because the entire ANC structure is controlled by criminals. HELLO other black people ,your elected leaders are stealing all your 'services'.

  • ArtGee - 2010-12-16 23:40

    Apparently CELE signed this deal in February, 3 months BEFORE the landlord BOUGHT the BUILDING for R240m! In other words, he got CREDIT FROM THE BANK, on the Singing of the Lease agreement! If I am NOT MISTAKEN, this lease was signed by CELE, BEFORE HE WAS MADE COMMISSIONER! In the words of Thabo Mbeki... "what CORRUPTION"?

      So What? - 2010-12-17 07:29

      If what you say is true, then Cele in his private capacity should be held liable for the amount and not the State - truly hope this is true and that the State as such can get out of it. What was wrong with the old headquarters in any way?

  • people.3000 - 2010-12-17 00:41

    Sorry for my language, but REALLY!

  • Geo Farmer - 2010-12-17 02:39

    CITIZENS!!!! The above is more evidence that the present ANC LEAD GOVERNMENT IS A LIABILITY TO SOUTH AFRICA!!! We as concerned readers must do all in our power to mobilize the masses to VOTE them out..... OTHERWISE.... the children of today and future generations will hold us ACCOUNTABLE for the waste land that they will inherit. PEOPLE WAKE UP!!!

      Ozymandios - 2010-12-17 06:56

      First we need to find a brave and corageous leader. So far I can't see one arising but I guess he/she is somewhere out there, and the hour will produce them. But heck I sure hope it is very very soon.

      Geo Farmer - 2010-12-17 08:16

      Ozymandios, At this stage,Hellen Zille of the DA is a likely candidate (pity she is white) and in the future one of the up-and-coming young DA model C black leaders, who are being groomed for the eventual takeover. IN THE MEANTIME ROME BURNS!!!!

  • Peter - 2010-12-17 07:37

    I wonder how much "The Cat in the Hat" Cele got from this deal......

  • SaintBruce - 2010-12-17 07:48

    Hang on just a second! A legal agreement? Question: If the 'legal' process includes going out to tender and that was NOT done, the the contract is void despite WHO signed it and WHEN they signed it. The Laws are clear ( should be) about at what point the signatory is authorised to sign a commercial deal - only after due process has been followed. The statement that has been made by Public Works Minister Nkabinde smacks of sheer ignorance of what legally constitutes a contract. This Roux guy who owns the building does not have a leg to stand on if it can be shown that: 1) The contract is irregular and flouts standing provisions for such purchases that would render it void - if challenged; 2) The person signing on behalf of the State was not authorised to sign the contract at the time it was signed ( both by power of office held and by completion of due process - ie: tenders for amounts over the open limit - but I confess I don't know what the limit is). 3) The rumour that Roux bought the building AFTER being 'awarded' the tender would strongly suggest "Front-Running" or "insider dealing" which is acting on knowledge not yet in the public domain for personal benefit or gain. This is corruption in a very real sense. So which is it? Sound like maybe all 3 to me so I am very interested in what the Public Protector has found! If the State refutes the deal on any of the 3 scores above, Roux has no legal case against the state. Parties have to be legally able to perform a contract.

      BilboBaggins - 2010-12-17 08:12

      Exactly SaintBruce. However, we are stuck with criminals at every level of society and the ANC condones it. HOW MANY HOUSES F=COULD HAVE BEEN BUILT FOR THE WRETCHED SHACK-DWELLERS? Colour doesn't come into it so forget the race card - the entire deal is illegal and money is stuffed yet again into personal pockets - the laws are flouted because South Africa's ANC clearly supports this kind of behaviour. Now if the DA had done something like this the entire ANC would have had hysterics. Double standards!!

      Dave - 2010-12-17 08:59

      I hope you are right, but there is usually the reasonableness test. If the lessor ( Roux ) can reasonably assume that the lessee had the authority to sign the lease, then he may have a case...if Cele had signed the lease on behalf of the police, it may be reasonable to assume that he had the authority to do so, and also Roux would not be held to know what internal processes were to be followed? I hope I am wrong, cause this smacks of fraud to the enth degree

      ariphotah - 2010-12-17 09:27

      Dave, you are wrong actually. The Lessor may make no assumptions. The only exception to this would be if the principle of estoppel applied. It gets a bit complicated but the bottom line is whether or not all the elements of a valid contract were present when it was signed. Only a court can decide that if the matter is disputed - not the State Attorney

  • Elkita - 2010-12-17 08:19

    The public has got nothing to do with this report.It is the anc protector and nothing else.We must do all we can to take away votes from them.Turtlehead Zuma is broke it looks like.Here is another chance for him and Cele..In whole of Africa there is not a more corrupt government like the Zuma one.Like the saying says.There is a end to wverything.I am holding thumbs for a better government.Sorry.I am afrikaans and hope I am doing not so bad.

  • WiseOwl2 - 2010-12-17 09:10

    You white folk are all against what this goverment is doing.. why dont you all do something about it instead of complaining to each other.

      stephanjvv - 2010-12-17 09:55

      Because we are paying the government to do a job with our tax money and demand that they do it. It is not our job to do their job.

      stephanjvv - 2010-12-17 09:57

      Because we are paying the government to do their job with our tax money and demand that they do that job. It is not our job to do their job.

      Kenko - 2010-12-17 10:36

      What are we supposed to do? We are the minority and the corrupt ANC is kept in power by the majority, which is black. We are complaining to each other in the hope that some blacks will start to listen and maybe influence their less intelligent friends to see the truth. As long as blacks keep their heads in the sand nothing will change.

      Geo Farmer - 2010-12-17 13:27

      WiseOwl2, What Kenko says is very true. Hopefully you intelligent blacks will start to realize how the present government is only interested in lining their pockets to the detriment of all SOUTH AFRICANS. Understand that most whites are not concerned about the governing race, but the concern of how our resources are squandered.

  • dictator - 2010-12-17 11:29

    Don't worry my people,the Anc is nearing the end of their cycle in power.They will self destruct.Viva DA..Our only hope now!

  • - 2011-01-07 22:26

    Advice from the State Attorney should have been sought from the onset when the offer to procure was drafted. The State Attorney should not be seen as a safety net for officials who have not complied with office accommodation procurement procedures. One hope that disciplinary action will be instituted against the officials who committed government to this exhorbitant lease. Also who in government did the option analysis and cost benefit analysis to determine whether it is feasible to lease?

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