Sbu Ndebele defends blue light escort

2015-12-17 18:45
Correctional services officers must focus on the rehabilitation of offenders so they can have a better life after their sentences, Correctional Services Minister Sbu Ndebele says. (File, GCIS)

Correctional services officers must focus on the rehabilitation of offenders so they can have a better life after their sentences, Correctional Services Minister Sbu Ndebele says. (File, GCIS)

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Durban – Former transport minister Sbu Ndebele has defended being escorted by police in the early hours of Thursday morning after a death in the family.

Ndebele, who is currently South Africa’s High Commissioner to Australia, said he received a phone call around 22:00 on Wednesday informing him that his brother Amos Ndebele’s daughter, Sibongile, 39, was ill.

"I got a call at around 03:00 informing me that she had died and I had to rush from my Durban North home to KwaMashu. The police escorted me.”

Ndebele, who sounded shaken, said he later received phone calls from reporters asking him why he had been escorted to KwaMashu under police guard.

"I suspect that someone had tipped them off that I was there and that the police had escorted me to KwaMashu. If people want to know, they should call me to prevent the wrong information from being published."

Ndebele said he was entitled to a police escort. 

Ndebele made headlines this week when he appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday on charges of alleged fraud, corruption and money laundering.

He was released on R10 000 bail.

Accused of accepting bribes

The Mercury reported on Tuesday that Ndebele was accused of accepting more than R10m in bribes over the extension of a multi-billion rand eNatis project.

Eyewitness News (EWN) earlier reported that, according to the indictment, the former transport minister is accused of accepting R10 264 000 between October 2010 and September 2012, via his Investec account.

The tenders he is accused of unlawfully influencing, relate to the extension of the eNatis system management contract to a company named Tasima, the owner of eNatis.

EWN reported on Tuesday that Ndebele had allegedly accepted the money in order to facilitate tenders worth more than R2bn.

On Monday, Mulaudzi confirmed in a statement that the former director general of the department of transport, George Mahlalela and his co-accused Zakhele Gilbert Thwala, 56, Sibusiso Justin Ncube, 48 and Tebogo Kgosietsile Trevor Mphuti, 45 - had appeared before the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court after they were arrested for fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Mulaudzi said Mahlalela allegedly spearheaded the renewal of the eNatis contract without following proper procedure.

'I am here to clear my name'

Briefly speaking about the matter, Ndebele said he had received a call from South African authorities informing him that he was being investigated.

"I later found out that I had already been charged. This had nothing to do with the International Relations. When I came here, I knew exactly why I was coming here.

“I did not come here blindly.”

Ndebele said he would let the law take its course.

"I am here to clear my name. One thing that I found strange with this whole thing is, why now? There have been Auditor General reports since that year, and there have never been any queries about the department.

"The court has an accused and the accuser, that is where the facts will play out," he said.

Ndebele said he would be spending Christmas with his family and would return to Australia to work after the festive season. 

He would be back in court in July 2016.

Read more on:    sbu ndebele  |  durban  |  blue light incidents  |  politics

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