Shabangu welcomes action on leases

2011-09-20 22:53

Johannesburg - Businessman Roux Shabangu has welcomed a court application to declare his lease contracts with the police null and void, saying it would bring clarity to the matter.

"We [Roux Property Fund] welcome the minister's actions. This matter has been hanging for... too long," Shabangu's spokesperson, Lelo Zulu, said in an e-mail to Sapa on Tuesday.

Zulu said it was important to allow the courts the opportunity to put the matter into perspective.

"The sooner the court decides on the validity of the lease, the better it would be for us as a company to continue with our course of business."

Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde announced on Tuesday that she had applied to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to have a lease contract, signed with Shabangu for police office space, declared null and void.

"Papers have already been filed... and we are now waiting for a hearing date," she said in a statement.

"These contracts were entered into before I became minister. Part of the reason it has taken some time to get to the point of filing court papers is because of obstruction I received from within the department, and because I received contradictory legal advice."

She denied signing off on the contract.

No payments

"It is important to note that media comments suggesting that these leases cost the South African taxpayers dearly are incorrect," she said.

"We have not paid Mr Shabangu one cent, no work was ever started on the Durban offices and nor have we authorised Mr Shabangu's company to complete any work on the Middestad building."

Mahlangu-Nkabinde said some department officials were under investigation.

"We have had the courage to say publicly we have a problem with corruption in the department," 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."

In a recent report, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that the public works department had deviated from tender processes, that the lease agreements were not at the market rate, and that Shabangu allegedly pressured officials to finalise the deals.

Madonsela's first report, released in February, was on her investigation into the Sanlam-Middestad building in Pretoria, leased for R500m. Her second report examined the R1.1bn agreement to lease Transnet Tower in Durban.

Madonsela called on President Jacob Zuma to take action against Mahlangu-Nkabinde, police commissioner Bheki Cele and senior officials involved in the deals.

Last week, presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Zuma took the report seriously, which was why he had decided not to make a "hasty or haphazard" decision.

  • thinker - 2011-09-20 23:33

    Yep, here starts the blame game. Please show us the signature and date on the documents.

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-21 08:40

      ANC Spindoctors been working OVER TIME FOR A CHANGE!!!!! This is the reason this took so long to come out... Spindoctors were SCHEMING of ALL SORTS OF EXCUSES!!!! Still don't believe it!

  • James - 2011-09-21 00:03

    and so what? who cares? NOTHING will happen. NO ONE will be to blame, well, maybe the "old regime" will get blamed somewhere in the diatribe that will be forthcoming

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-09-21 06:09

    Greedy fat cats tooka chance and got caught out. Roux only wants out because he's been caught out - the okes waiting for the backhands must be peeved. No worries, they'll figure out some other devious method to loot the coffers .........

  • Pencilgraffiti - 2011-09-21 07:34

    Again, as in the case with Minister Cwele, she's either guilty or incompetent. Either should warrant a dismissal at the very least

  • DW - 2011-09-21 08:41

    If the Pulic Protector had not put a spoke in the wheels, these leases WOULD have cost us billions. Gwen is just trying to look like the hero, when actually she is the villain. And what about the R3.5bn other deals that have been uncovered which HAVE cost us money. Sounds to me like Gwen is only interested in covering her own ass. She doesnt seem to care that she is a representative of the ANC - whether it was her or her predecessor or people in her department, this has obviously been going on for a long time. And the taxpayers just keep coughing up and coughing up. How many billions will it take for them to realise that there is no bottomless pot of gold into which every single ANC politician can help themselves to R100m or so? At some stage, they must realise that there is no more to be robbed.

  • fuzuma - 2011-09-21 10:41

    Two vice mayors of east China's cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou, XuMaiyong and Jiang Renjie, were executed Tuesday morning for bribery, the Supreme People's Court said.The SPC approved the executions after reviewing both cases, Sun Jungong, a spokesman for the SPC, said during a press conference held in Beijing on Tuesday.Xu used his official power to interfere with project contracts and to help companies and people obtain land, promotions and tax breaks while acting as chief of the Xihu District government, Party secretary of the district and mayor of Zhejiang Province's city of Hangzhou, Sun said.Xu sought and accepted a total of 145 million yuan in bribes and embezzled another 53.59 million yuan from a state-owned property development firm.In addition, Xu arranged the illegal return of 71.7 million yuan in land purchase payments to a property development firm in which he had a stake, Sun added.Jiang took advantage of his position as deputy mayor of Jiangsu Province's city of Suzhou to obtain benefits from real estate development projects for five companies, Sun said.In return, Jiang took bribes, including more than 108 million yuan in cash, from property developers.Xu was convicted of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and sentenced to death by the Intermediate People's Court of the city of Ningbo on May 12.Jiang was convicted of bribery and sentenced to death by theIntermediate People's Court of the city of Nanjing in April 2008.

  • mac-sdi - 2011-09-21 12:59

    Mac Maharaj is a disgrace. Only doodoo comes out when he speaks. he's been working overtime on the cabinet's mishaps

  • FreeorDom - 2011-09-22 07:56

    One clown does not make a circus.

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