Cele asked why two buildings, one owner

2012-03-12 14:41

Pretoria - Suspended police commissioner Bheki Cele could not explain on Monday the coincidence that both buildings identified for police accommodation in Durban and Pretoria were owned by one man.

"I can’t explain the coincidence... the visits [by some SAPS officials] had taken place without me knowing," Cele told the inquiry, sitting in Pretoria, into his conduct.

He was asked about the coincidence that property mogul Roux Shabangu owned both the Sanlam Middestad and Transnet buildings in Pretoria and Durban respectively.

When asked about the person who had to be held accountable when it came to compliance with tender processes, Cele said: "That would be me."

He also agreed with the inquiry's chairperson Jake Moloi that it appeared as though Shabangu knew in advance about the police's accommodation needs, and that someone was keeping him informed.

Cele said he did not know the motive behind his former deputy and police procurement head Hamilton Hlela's testimony that "a person" would call him to discuss new office space for police headquarters in Pretoria. According to Hlela, the only person who called after that was Shabangu.

Questionable work ethic

Cele's re-examination began on Monday morning with his attorney Vincent Maleka attempting to defend his job, following two public protector reports into the controversial lease deals worth R1.6bn.

Cele previously insisted he relied on "experts" such as Hlela to advise him before signing any documents. This was after admitting he sometimes did not scrutinise documents presented to him and Hlela. He said he lost trust in Hlela due to his questionable work ethic.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found the building leases had been concluded in an unlawful and improper way. Shabangu was challenging the matter in court.

Madonsela, whose report was being used as evidence at the hearing, was instrumental in President Jacob Zuma appointing the board of inquiry late last year.

The board, chaired by retired Free State Judge Jake Moloi, was investigating whether Cele acted dishonestly and corruptly when he authorised the lease deals with Shabangu.

Last week, board members had to try more than once to elicit clear answers from Cele, accusing him of being evasive in answering questions.

"It leaves a terrible impression on this board," Moloi said on Thursday.

Cele's defence team made it clear he would deny any wrongdoing outright.

  • Penny - 2012-03-12 14:49

    Oh please man. This Cele knew exactly what he was doing when he signed off the paperwork. Tenderpreneurs !!!

      Penny - 2012-03-12 15:25

      Hey Kolobe/Morane/sganga/Steen - stop down-tumbing me!

      Johannvw13 - 2012-03-12 15:40

      because its like a streetwise 2 You get two pieces

      Andrew - 2012-03-12 15:50 !!!!

  • Den - 2012-03-12 14:50

    being the top cop in the land, he didnt believe anyone would notice

      Dennis - 2012-03-12 15:04

      But he should have watched the selebi trial !!! Top cops do time !!

      James - 2012-03-12 17:17

      no they don't, they get medical parole

      Art - 2012-03-12 20:00

      James... thats "CADRE'S"!!!! ...or you get a PRIVATE WARD....

  • Herman - 2012-03-12 14:52

    Why wasting money on a hearing? Just fire the crook!

      Motho - 2012-03-12 15:10

      Cele never benefiting from leasing agreements. The only that he did is that he failed to provide oversight as an accounting officer. Therefore, you can't call him a crook. Get a grip of your facts before opening mouth.

      Michael - 2012-03-12 15:15

      its called a kickback Motho....

      Carol - 2012-03-12 15:38

      @Motho - leases for his buddy and something for him in return, obviously. AND the lease amounts were inflated as well (probably to provide the kickback). Don't be dof.

      Deon - 2012-03-12 15:43

      I would be surprised if no money changed hands. They should look at Cele's spending habits or lack of it. He probably made the same mistake Selebi did.

      Chad - 2012-03-12 15:50

      @Michael, no you got it wrong, its called escape goat......

  • Mfosi - 2012-03-12 14:52

    Well its either he is corrupt or completely incompetent, but on both scores this renders him completely unfit fot the position.

  • Thoka - 2012-03-12 14:55

    broer skap. greese my bum and shall make you smile all the way to da bank.

      Steve - 2012-03-12 15:24

      Its grease, learn to spell

      S - 2012-03-12 15:58

      Steve, your superior knowledge of greased bums leaves us in awe. :D

      Art - 2012-03-12 20:01

      Surely thats "grease my PALM"???

  • Peter - 2012-03-12 14:57

    Cele is a scapegoat, Roux Shabangu is a close ally of Zuma. Why is Zuma not called in this hearing. Roux got inside information from Zuma, no doubt about that.

  • Leon - 2012-03-12 14:58

    If convicted he will suddenly develop shaikalebilitus!

      Penny - 2012-03-12 15:10

      It's called the ShaikySelebi syndrome Like this, 'Hey, I see Cele has suddenly come down with a case of ShaikySelebi.'

      Penny - 2012-03-12 15:20

      Oxford Dictionary Shaikyselebi: (noun) - unknown medical condition that keeps people bedridden in hospital. Symptoms include cronic fatigue, restlessness, binge drinking and compulsive golfing. Shaikyselebi is most commonly brought on by guilt and the sufferer's knowledge of their involvement in some high-ranking criminal activity.

      Art - 2012-03-12 20:03

      Penny... you forgot the "GOLFERS ARM"... a condition one tends to suffer from, when driving balls into tight places, on one's hospital room's balcony...

  • stalin.rudolf - 2012-03-12 14:58

    ngumshikashika indaba yase toilet,

  • Christo - 2012-03-12 15:06

    Here is comes! Mr Cele, our ambassador. Not fit for SAPS but fit to represent SA abroad! This guy needs a bed next to Selebi!

  • Dave Prinsloo - 2012-03-12 15:07

    with all the crime and corruption, CAN WE REALLY AFFORD THE POLICE??????

  • Barry - 2012-03-12 15:17

    Is there any future possibility of appointing a National Police Commissioner who will be honest, upstanding and sets a high standard of integrity? It is becoming rather embarrassing to the rest of the world.

      Rob - 2012-03-12 16:42

      One can only wonder who will be left standing if thourough investigation and justice ever gets underway....I am not holding my breath!

      Ajay - 2012-03-12 17:18

      Just imagine how Interpol feels.

  • Steve - 2012-03-12 15:22


  • Evan - 2012-03-12 15:33

    Seriously, what are the chances that the SAPS would rent two buildings in two different cities that happen to be owned by the same person? I wonder why anyone would call that a coincidence, the press included, why even ask Cele to explain? It's no coincidennce and therefore cannot be explained as such.

      Art - 2012-03-12 20:05

      fargone.... when the lease was signed in Pretoria... the building WAS NOT HIS TO LEASE OUT!!!!! LOL!

  • Den - 2012-03-12 15:34

    i love getting thumbs down to realistic comments, to the thumb down guy, do you like being stolen from? or dont you see it as that? your taxes mean nothing to you? or do you just not understand, come trolls????

      Rob - 2012-03-12 16:44

      Maybe thumbs down pays little or no tax!

  • SALife - 2012-03-12 15:34

    Is he not just lovable? Thick, fat hairy ogre. Does not know a thing? Wondres why the buildings are owned by the same guy? But signs anyway? And he is responsible and accountable for the entire Police Force? WAy out man.WAy out.

  • Jason - 2012-03-12 15:35

    The worrying fact for our country is that this man is fighting to keep his job and not fighting to stay out of jail.

  • Phillys - 2012-03-12 15:36

    pure coincidence!!! Of course "scrotal head", we all believe you!!

      Art - 2012-03-12 20:07

      ROFLMAO!!!!!!! "Scrotal Head"...... HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I equated his head to an old Spaldin Base Ball Mitt... rough and pleated... from catching to many "BALLS"!!!

  • Den - 2012-03-12 15:37

    in the new managment of SA are there any honest ones???

  • Evan - 2012-03-12 15:37

    In my opinion, firing an individual for corruption and or fraud is not enough because if that is all that will happen everyone will keep doing it and enriching themselves until they are caught. This type of offense needs to be punishable in the severest manner. A serious deterrent is required. By the time many of these people are caught, they have allready received millions in kickbacks etc, and it then makes no difference whether they are fired or not. By that stage they have more than enough to retire on.

  • mmaroba - 2012-03-12 15:38

    If I were Cele's attorney, I would advise him to answer questions forthrightly. Up till now the case against him is at best circumstantial. However, the manner in which he has elected to answer questions may suggest that he is telling less than the whole truth. He is not the first accounting officer who does not scrutinize documents fully before signing. Most government officials sign many documents without reading them. What bothers me most is his response to straight forward plain short questions which require that he should either confirm a fact or deny it. Sometimes it hurts a case to over prepare a "defendant." I suspect that he was thoroughly coached to be evasive so as to make it difficult for "prosecutors" to proof their case. The strategy is back-firing. I'll change it.

      Rob - 2012-03-12 16:48

      Mmaroba...of course you are correct, it is not about right/wrong/justice/retribution/prosecution/criminality/corruption/ is about a legal process and getting your client off whatever he/she has done. Maybe the court will form a fair opinion based on the defence's performance. Just as long as we/the taxpayers are not paying for the circus! Oops, of course we are!

      Kenneth - 2012-03-12 23:55

      well put Mmaroba. totally agree with you.

  • Gavin - 2012-03-12 15:38

    Liar liar pants on fire, this, eish I don't know response to questions doesn't work. when will this idiot government of ours stop appointing cowboys to the top jobs only to see them go down in flames ? You want to know why we have so much crime in SA - it's because the leadership of the cops are a bunch of clowns.

      Elize - 2012-03-12 15:59

      They only have idiots to appoint Gavin!!

  • Kerry - 2012-03-12 15:50

    F*&^ing liar!

  • Larry - 2012-03-12 15:52

    Big problem when one is both corrupt and incompetent, when push comes to shove. The Clown in the Hat should face criminal charges.

  • Melanie - 2012-03-12 15:57

    wheres "pointblank"?.....missing his comments today....

  • Richard - 2012-03-12 15:57

    He is rather forgetfull, my guess is that his mystery disease, ala Cele/Shah, would be altzheimers...

  • Bongeka - 2012-03-12 16:01

    This is seriously embarasing.If he's guilty then I'll be so embarased.Guys, we are running around in circles as if nobody knows anything.Truth will come out,I can see that. Guys,is there a way of finding someone honest in an interview?If there is then I think whoever is responsible of hiring the police commisioner should use that criteria next time.

  • mmoledis - 2012-03-12 16:07

    Let a crime fighter have his job back since he became a police general crime has gone down, let him be forgiven for his mistakes as the money or tender has not yet gone through and he also apologise to the public for that, and to all those who are in offices from head of state to the last troop learn to read documents properly before you put your signature on as one day you will sign without reading and found that you have signed for selling your country or your own life. So beware before putting that pen to paper, and all heads of sections and government must hire specialist people to read and scrutinise documents on behalf of them and be explained in details what the document says before signing any document, sign while not in hurry to avoid mistakes.

      Rob - 2012-03-12 16:50

      No, don't forgive him.....punish the man for insulting all South Africans

      James - 2012-03-12 17:25

      you say crime has gone down, what statistics are you referring to, definately not the violent crime statistics which go up yearly.

      Kenneth - 2012-03-13 00:04

      unfortunately thats not how it is. U cannot be a doctor for example, then rape and kill 3children and claim that u have saved 3000 patients who were to die had u not intervened.what Cele did was a crime and he must be held responsible, its called corruption.

  • steveroodt - 2012-03-12 16:16

    Ok let's look at it this way. When a new person is appointed to a top position He or She takes on this responsibly with good intentions,to be fair General Cele was by far the most visible Chief we had.But now the point is the corruption was there already and these people have to look after their interests so slowly they play the game and start getting their plans together Knowing that the mark is actually not qualified for the position they are in.So the the Fun begins and paper trail is long all these top guns sad to say are not educated enough for the position they have been given.There is a third force reaping our hard earned taxes and becoming Billionaires over night. and recently not mentioning a certain individual you guys are tired of hearing his name has millions placed in a trust .Tell me who organised that trust as the bearer of the trust did not even know how to open a bank account never mind a trust account.I might be wrong but if you receive more than R20000. the Banks are obliged to report the deposit to the Reserve bank so why does it take so long for the Hawks and S.A.R.S. To investigate i bet if a million was deposited into my account i would have the tax man a knocking.So the men in the chair are puppets and their strings have been pulled by this unknown force things run much deeper my friends much deeper than we think Africa has so much potential and assets we should all live a decent life style but Squatter camps and Palaces it is

  • claude.oosthuizen - 2012-03-12 17:24

    And the award for stoopid goes to.......................CELE......brity cop

  • Trudi - 2012-03-12 17:42

    Where do they find these heads of the police? Are they z zuma's tommies? The one that they have now wants to fire the whole auditing committe leaking the story about 27 000 policemen that can't shoot they are a disgrace

  • Geoff - 2012-03-12 18:02

    First Cele. Joke!!!

  • Kenneth - 2012-03-12 23:47

    Cele is undermining our intelligence,he and Roux Shabangu had corrupt relations just Zuma an Shaik.Though in his answers at the court hearing sound stupid but the fact is he knew exactly what he was signing for.

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