Protector denies police missed deadline

2011-01-05 21:15
Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday denied reports that police had missed a deadline to respond to her report on the controversial R500m lease for new police headquarters in Pretoria.

She said in a statement: "I need to state that the SA Police Service (SAPS) requested an extension for operational reasons on the same day that we wrote to them regarding our investigation and this was mutually agreed upon."

Madonsela expressed concern over Wednesday's media reports that the SAPS, the public works department and the National Treasury were not co-operating in her investigation into the deal.

"It is therefore improper to allege that the SAPS has missed the deadline since the deadline has long been extended. In fact, SAPS has fully co-operated in every possible way throughout this process."

The Public Protector sent a draft report of a probe to complainant Paul Hoffman, who is director of the SA Institute for Accountability, as well as national police commissioner General Bheki Cele, the ministers of police and public works and the accounting officers of the police and public works department.

The parties originally had until January 3 to comment.

The Sunday Times reported a few months ago that the deal had been signed without a public tender, prompting the Hawks and the Public Protector to investigate.

The report will be released to the public in February.

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