Shabangu: Public works approached me

2011-06-17 19:00

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Pretoria - The property tycoon at the centre of a scandal involving the Pretoria headquarters of the police said the process was valid and that he was not responsible for the public works department not following processes.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Roux Shabangu said he had been approached by public works officials about the R500m lease for the building.

"They came to us, but referred by the previous owners. That's how the deal landed in our hands."

He did not say who specifically in the department had approached him.

Comment from public works spokesperson Obakeng Modikoe could not be immediately obtained.

Sharp criticism over deal

The deal was sharply criticised by the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, earlier this year.

She found national police commissioner Bheki Cele guilty of maladministration and criticised Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde for going ahead with the deal despite receiving legal advice to the contrary.

Shabangu said there was a perception about businessmen that "if he's black he must be connected to government officials".

He did not wish to comment much further on the Middestad lease as "the matter is under possible litigation".

He also accused the department of negligence in relation to the Tweefontein police station project in Mpumalanga.

Lease still up for tender

Earlier this month Shabangu was ordered by the North Gauteng High Court to pay Alert Steel R4 742 396.56 for building materials delivered to the police station.

"I will fight for and continue fighting to see to it that the DPW pays for my company's financial loss suffered as a result."

Referring to a building lease in Durban, which is also being investigated by the public protector, Shabangu said there was no existing lease.

The lease to the police was still up for tender and he did not wish to jeopardise his company's chances.

"I can tell you that Roux Property Fund followed all the procedures and complied with all the requirements that were set in the tender document."

The public protector has compiled a provisional report on the lease and last week a spokesperson said she was still waiting for responses to her report.

Shabangu also denied having any friendship with President Jacob Zuma’s.

He said: "I do not have a long standing friendship whatsoever with our president."
Read more on:    police  |  roux shabangu  |  gwen mahlangu-nkabinde  |  bheki cele  |  thuli madonsela  |  police lease saga

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