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Questions over Cele, Shabangu meeting

2012-03-06 13:27

Pretoria - Questions about a meeting between suspended national police commissioner Bheki Cele and businessman Roux Shabangu were raised on Tuesday during the inquiry into Cele's conduct.

The second day of the inquiry in Pretoria saw former head of procurement and deputy national commissioner Lieutenant General Hamilton Hlela reiterating that Cele had identified a building in Pretoria which he wanted to lease for use as police headquarters.

Hlela, who retired in August 2010, also confirmed a meeting with Sanlam Middestad building owner Shabangu, which he claimed Cele chaired on July 5, 2010.

Meeting

Asked by Vincent Maleka, for Cele, to confirm this was a "first meeting" between Cele and Shabangu, Hlela suggested they could have met previously, but he did not know.

"I don't know if it was the first time they met, but yes it was the first time they met in my presence," he said.

Maleka asked if a meeting between a tenant and property owner was "out of the ordinary", to which Hlela replied: "No".

He said a needs assessment of 2 000 square metres required by the police was altered at that meeting to 25 000 square metres, "in order to fit space available".

Maleka said Cele would dispute Hlela's version that Cele refused to give him the landlord's contact details, saying "the person will contact me or would come visit me".

On Monday, Hlela said he was not given that person's name. Shabangu was the only person that called him after that conversation.

Maleka reacted: "I don't accept that someone called you. That's your version. We will dispute that."

'Improper and unlawful'

President Jacob Zuma suspended Cele after the public protector's report concluded his conduct pertaining to two leases for new police headquarters in Pretoria and Durban, valued at R1.6bn, was "improper and unlawful".

These findings formed part of the evidence at the inquiry, which was triggered by the report.

Another four people were expected to give testimony during the week. Cele was also expected to testify.

The previous national police commissioner, Jackie Selebi, was jailed for 15 years by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in 2010 for corruption following a trial which began in 2008.

Comments
  • Herman - 2012-03-06 13:43

    There will always be unanswered questions where govt officials and corruption are involved. There is always information (not mentioned for public eyes) disguised behind a political agenda. We will always be in the dark about the true story behind Cele’s dismissal (which is probably caused by apartheid.)

  • abner.malema - 2012-03-06 14:00

    @ Herman. the enquiry is open for public it seems you know can you be of help to the tax payers

  • Scouter - 2012-03-06 14:06

    "He said a needs assessment of 2 000 square metres required by the police was altered at that meeting to 25 000 square metres, in order to fit space available" You couldn't make it up, no matter how hard you tried - expanding a need for 2,000m2 to 25,000m2 over a table??? Not much facility planning but a lot of retirement planning by the sounds of it.

      Herman - 2012-03-06 16:06

      What planning? 2000 sqm is as big as his house! But if you are used to taxis you probably be able to squeeze a police haedquartes in to 2000 sqms.

  • Peter - 2012-03-06 14:07

    Cele's woes only started after he left the Zuma camp, makes me wonder.

  • Thuthuka - 2012-03-06 14:07

    Hlela suggested they could have met previously, but he did not know. "I don't know if it was the first time they met, but yes it was the first time they met in my presence," he said. Wow. How does this man's statement suggest that they met before? What's going on? Who wrote this?

  • mano.shunmoogam - 2012-03-06 14:16

    The Public Protector should ask to see the video footage of Cele's lavish wedding to see if she can spot Shabangu amongst the entourage.She must also ascertain who paid for his fancy wedding.

  • Rudie - 2012-03-06 14:30

    I so wish things in S.A. can change, like the Rhinos go corrupts and the government officials get poached

  • david.lebethe - 2012-03-06 14:32

    The battles for the soul of the anc is unfolding before the judicial commission. Hlela and Mdluli architects of the Mole report and would do everything possible to expose those opposed to Msholozi vying for the second term. Cele is equally not innocent as so found by Public Protector. It looks like there is nobody within the leadership of the anc who is not tainted one way or another. Yesterday it was Selebi and now his successor?!

  • lindiwe.mthembusalter - 2014-05-13 07:46

    Simon babazi Ntombela

  • lindiwe.mthembusalter - 2014-05-13 07:46

    Simon babazi Ntombela

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