News24

Police to explain R500m 'dodgy' deal

2010-08-01 17:17

Johannesburg - The police department intends to brief media this week on a press report that National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele allegedly signed a "dodgy" multi-million rand property deal, a spokesperson said on Sunday.

"The police have taken a position to deal with the matter through a form of an inclusive media briefing," his spokesperson Lindela Mashigo told Sapa in an SMS

The Sunday Times reported that Cele had signed a R500m property rental deal that would see police headquarters move to the 18-storey Middestad Sanlam centre in Pretoria, which was owned by billionaire businessman Roux Shabangu.

According to the report the deal was not treated as a tender, violating Treasury regulations that all government contracts worth over R500 000 go through a bid process.

Shabangu allegedly signed the R500m rental lease, which would apparently run for 10 years, with Cele on June 1, but only purchased the building on Wednesday for R220m.

The police's current headquarters was the Wachthuis building around the corner.

Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said the party intended to write to the Auditor General asking him to investigate the deal.

"The National Police Commissioner has been disingenuous when questioned about the details of the deal and seems to fail to grasp that the principle of transparency is one that SAPS must strive to maintain at all times... And that the procedure of having open tender bids is there to ensure that public finances are responsibly managed."