Cele isn't above the law - DA

2010-08-01 22:47

Cape Town – The national chief of police apparently feels he is not accountable to anyone regarding the financial agreements he makes on behalf of the police.

This is what Dianne Kohler Barnard, DA spokesperson, had to say on Sunday after revelations that General Bheki Cele allegedly made a real estate transaction without following the proper public bidding process.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, Cele signed an agreement worth over R500m according to which he and the minister of police, Nathi Mthethwa, his deputy, Fikile Mbalula and six specialist units will move to new offices in the Pretoria CBD.

The national treasury’s rules determine that a tender process be followed for any transaction worth more than R500m – which Cele apparently did not do.

Kohler Barnard said on Sunday that it might be fair for senior police officials to move to a new building, but what does raise concerns is the fact that the bidding process was not transparent.

“Why does the police chief think he can sign agreements which far exceed his financial authority on his own?”

The DA will now ask the Auditor General to conduct a full investigation into the transaction, so that all the details may come to light.

However, Kohler Barnard says she is worried that Cele will ultimately not be held accountable.

“Who can prosecute the national chief of police now that the Scorpions don’t exist anymore?”

The police would not comment on the matter on Sunday.

Lindela Mashigo, police spokesperson, said on Sunday they will not respond to “fragmented, individual enquiries”, and would rather hold an inclusive media event later in the week, such as holding a “news conference or issuing a press statement”.