Mthethwa asks Cele to investigate 'raid'

2011-03-04 14:30

Johannesburg - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has asked National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele to investigate a controversial visit by two policemen to the public protector's office, Mthethwa's spokesperson said on Friday.

Mthethwa was part of President Jacob Zuma's state visit to France and was briefed on the matter by Cele on Thursday afternoon, Zweli Mnisi said in an emailed response to questions.

"He [Mthethwa] has accordingly requested General Cele to investigate the matter and will be kept updated on any developments," wrote Mnisi.

Mthethwa "fully respects the independence and mandate of the public protector’s office as a constitutionally-recognised institution".

"Therefore any dubious efforts that are aimed at undermining this institution’s authority; whether through raids or intimidation by whomsoever, shall not be tolerated by this ministry."

Earlier, police spokesperson Major General Nonkululeko Mbatha said "processes" were underway regarding the visit by the police officials, but she would not elaborate.


Cele has already apologised to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, and Madonsela has made her own formal request to Cele for an explanation.

"The public protector has written to General Bheki Cele just seeking clarity on the purpose of the visit," said Madonsela's spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi.

"The public protector is worried because she felt she could have been informed in advance. She also could not decipher why she features in [an] internal investigation in the [police]."

Masibi said Cele also called Madonsela on Thursday to apologise for the incident, which her office described as a visit, not a raid as there was "no search and staff did not feel intimidated".

"He phoned the public protector and said that he did not sanction the visit and that the matter is going to be investigated and that he apologises for the incident."

Masibi said two policemen, a Colonel Maluleka and a Captain Nkuta, arrived at the offices [on Wednesday], on the instructions of a Colonel Heine.

Without official papers backing up their request, they sought a document referred to in a Sunday Times report last week and wanted to know if it had formed part of the protector's findings regarding a police lease probe.

Her report was on an investigation into a R500m lease agreement for new police headquarters in Pretoria.

The Sunday Times had alleged that Cele had signed a lease agreement for the building with businessman Roux Shabangu without it being put out to tender.

Last month, Madonsela concluded that Cele was implicated in unlawful conduct and maladministration as the accounting officer for the police, even though he was not directly involved in the final lease agreement.

She recommended that Cabinet get an explanation from Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde on why she decided to continue with the lease despite getting legal opinion advising against it.

'Personally authorised'

The Sunday Times reported on Sunday that there was a document which showed that Cele allegedly personally authorised the release of funds for the lease agreement before an approach was made to the public works department for new office space.

Cele responded to the public protector's findings by questioning her authority to pronounce him guilty of improper conduct.

He said the Special Investigating Unit had no right to have been part of her investigation. He suggested that a subordinate, Hamilton Hlela, may have been responsible, and that he had not known about the final agreement.

During the police visit on Wednesday, Madonsela decided to give the police a list of the documents which formed part of the investigation, but not the documents themselves, said Masibi.

Mbatha and McIntosh Polela, who usually does media comment for the Hawks, but said he was speaking for the police, issued a joint statement on Thursday.

In it, they said: "The SAPS management strongly condemns an act of alleged invasion of the office of the public protector by members from counter intelligence.

"The members acted outside their mandate, hence appropriate action is being instituted accordingly."

'Cele should step down'

Opposition parties have criticised the incident, with some saying Cele should step down.

African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe visited the Independent Complaints Directorate on Friday to make a formal request that they investigate the incident.

"We hope the ICD will give this matter the urgency it deserves,” Meshoe said.

In a statement pledging support to Madonsela, the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) said it was concerned by the lack of clarity around the so-called "raid", saying it gave the impression that criminal activity was involved and the protector could not independently investigate complaints without fear of intimidation or reprisal.

The SA Police Union (Sapu) said: "It will be a historic coincidence if this raid does not have anything to do with the recent damning report by the public protector," and also wanted answers, saying Madonsela had done a "sterling job".

"Sapu would like call upon those two police officials to come out clean and tell the public the truth as to what happened. We are here to protect them."

Idasa said if the documents were needed, a formal written request should have been made.

"If South Africans are to be reassured that the police know that they may perform their duties only as authorised by the Constitution, the police commissioner must take immediate action to hold to account those who carried out this raid," the organisation said.

Meanwhile, arrangements were being made for Madonsela, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and Cabinet secretary Cassius Lubisi to meet to discuss the report before government announces its position on the matter.

  • Trevor Obery - 2011-03-04 14:36

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      terry - 2011-03-04 14:43

      yeah I had one of those as well, and I could never get it to work properly either! The custard was always runny.

      Felix - 2011-03-04 14:50

      Apparently they will watch themselves...

      cancer1983 - 2011-03-04 15:05

      Excellently put! For those of you who need an explanation in other words it means "Who watches the watchmen?"

      PilgrimX - 2011-03-04 15:37

      @cancer1983. Thanks... I thought it meant something like Deja-vu.

      yttocs69 - 2011-03-04 16:54

      WHO made this twot a general.....Woops !!!Forgot you be what you want in the CNA.....

  • daaivark - 2011-03-04 14:39

    Oh my, stand-up comedy from Nathi. Ja. Sure the findings will be complete and one hundred percent reliable. Pull the other one.

  • Goose - 2011-03-04 14:43

    African solution to an African problem. get the accused to investigate "himself".......that is REALLY pure genius!

      Appietrader - 2011-03-05 10:37

      Brilliant observation and true. Then this ANC government expect investors to take them seriously??

  • chrismtb007 - 2011-03-04 14:46

    WTF???!! ask the wolf to investigate, it was probably Cele that sent these guys to that office??? What sense is there in this??

  • Midcorner - 2011-03-04 14:48

    This is right,that man (Cele)is under a serious investigations and he should noy intervene with the proceedings of this case not at all.How can the accused be responsible for inverstigating his own case? Leadership please study as much as you can,the country is awaiting for your contributions?

  • Felix - 2011-03-04 14:51

    Wow, who stood to benefit? I bet Cele is still laughing on his office floor!

  • GT - 2011-03-04 14:58

    The fox is watching the hens. (my latin starts and ends with vidi veni vinci, although we could quote most of Julius Caesar with the current circus act. History has a way of repeating itself)

      cancer1983 - 2011-03-04 15:08

      Et tu, Brute?

      PilgrimX - 2011-03-04 16:21

      Cirque de Soleil? et al...

      Mr Hobbit - 2011-03-04 16:51

      Quo vadis?

      Andy49 - 2011-03-04 19:06

      vat hom fluffy.

      MadMatt_88 - 2011-03-05 09:55

      Alea jacta est.

      jaco.greyling - 2011-03-05 10:22

      "nonne amicus certus in re incerta cernitur?" (a friend in need is a friend in deed)

  • Ockert - 2011-03-04 14:59

    How can this FOOL ask Cele to invetsigate the matter, HE (Cele) is the problem that is under investigation--- how stupid can you get -

      Andy49 - 2011-03-04 19:08

      obviously not stew-pit enough for the supposedly gullible SA public. Dumber just got even more dumber.

  • Slapper - 2011-03-04 15:01

    Here we go, the Guard dog is Guarding the Sausages? What a farce

      Sydney - 2011-03-05 17:18

      LOL...hahaha....bwahaha! Good one...

  • lldoidge - 2011-03-04 15:07

    Good comedy to start off the week-end!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

      Jo - 2011-03-04 15:21

      I'm glad you find this funny. I find it ironic, foolish, dangerous and inept - but not really funny. Nothing with the 'power' to raid, imprison, waste eye-popping amounts of sorely-needed money and shoot to kill is even remotely funny to me.

      lldoidge - 2011-03-04 18:34

      Jo, get a life man! What I found funny and you were to dumb to understand, is that Cele is investigating Cele!!!

  • neljn18 - 2011-03-04 15:16

    And Bheki Cele knew nothing about it Yeah sure. Remeber the Sunday Times....?????

      hawksnr - 2011-03-04 15:39

      Those of you that failed grade R stand up please........ one cowboy..... another cowboy...............eishhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

  • Grant - 2011-03-04 15:17

    "I have concluded my investigation. What I found was that I told some of my guys (off the record) to use their police-powers to get hold of some implicating documents, and then "lose" them. I further told them not to mention my request for them to do this, and agreed to pay each vast sums of money for their efforts. All-in-all, my findings prove that I am without doubt guilty as sin, nd will be seeking to terminate my own employment" Think it could happen? :P

  • Samuel - 2011-03-04 15:19

    who monitors the monitor

      Jamesons - 2011-03-04 15:36


  • - 2011-03-04 15:33

    The lunatics have taken charge of the asylum --- it's a world gone mad.

  • hawksnr - 2011-03-04 15:36

    Hands-up Cowboy ................ you are another disgrace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Justin - 2011-03-04 15:37

    F**K that funny: Hi I am a thieving criminal who keeps committing crime so please can you let me investigate myself and find myself guilty; now that's funny.............Why did a monkey go to the public protectors office to commit a crime.

  • Mr Hobbit - 2011-03-04 15:38

    Well that's a relief. No worries, it will be thoroughly investigated. I'm sure General Cele will find himself completely innocent, finish and klaar. Oops, no sorry, that was Selebi who said that. Um, I'm sure General Cele will find that he did actually did sign the 500 mil lease with his pal, but didn't know about it until the Sunday Times made such a fuss. Now about that OTHER lease in Durban, well, um, ...

      PilgrimX - 2011-03-04 15:53

      Eish, you Hobbits - why expose the OTHER deals? One deal at a time bro.

  • exocist - 2011-03-04 15:39

    what do you expect with goatherders in public office

  • WiseOwl2 - 2011-03-04 15:40

    Who does this moron think he is fooling - the whole world must think our country consists of bafoons !!!!

  • srr.geo77 - 2011-03-04 15:44

    good going...asking the idiot who is implicated to be a law unto himself...there are so many other investigative options out there but Mthetwa will ask the goon to investigate something he is complicit in. only in the banana republic of SA.....

  • Aabels - 2011-03-04 15:46

    Who is the Stormers playing against this week-end???? Shit....sorry okes.....wrong article.

      Eric - 2011-03-04 15:53

      I dont know howm there playing. but it will definatly be behind there own goal line.

      PilgrimX - 2011-03-04 16:00

      Wrong article? - don't think so. You have some sinister "weekend vibe" motive and I suggest that you be investigated ;)

  • Eric - 2011-03-04 15:48

    This thing we call the SAPS is a disgrace to South Africa and has been for a long time run like criminal organization. With Cele came a big hope for better. But this slippery slope that come around when the law takes the criminal paths in whatever small manner leads to proper fuckup.

  • FuzzyStorm - 2011-03-04 15:50

    like asking the wolf to look after the lambs aint it

  • Met - 2011-03-04 15:50

    The suspect to investigate himself.I am sure they can still find the odd white policeman who they can blame

      WiseOwl2 - 2011-03-04 16:25

      No man you forgot its apartheids fault !!!

  • Smindlo - 2011-03-04 15:53

    criminals these ANC thugs. all of them..from President to Julius..all of them

  • tommy 2 - 2011-03-04 15:55

    RAY CHARLES ASKING STEVIE WONDER : TO INVESTIGATE. Cant wait to hear the song and how it will be sung.

  • Eric - 2011-03-04 15:57

    now, what about the realy stupid things they do.......?

  • sikhumbuzo.qwabe - 2011-03-04 16:00

    Police Force is not the law unto themselves but, the public must also understand the different sections within the police force. It was uncalled for to conclude on what the raid was all about before getting the official side of the stroy from both sides. It might happen that some individuals would like the issue of Public Protectors' findings to lose focus and create a false image about the police force. If its true they did raid the offices then let us wait for the outcome of the investigation before we have our own illinformed predictions concerning the raid or visit depending on what theory is right.

      Eric - 2011-03-04 16:04

      Police Force is not the law unto themselves but, the public must also understand the different sections within the police force. It was uncalled for to conclude on what the raid was all about before getting the official side of the stroy from both sides.............. hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      Eric - 2011-03-04 16:11

      All I meant to say was that the "official side of the (stroy) " would mean more if they come and write it on some toilet paper. Then at least it will have some value in the greater scheme of things!?! lol

      Iceman - 2011-03-04 16:11

      yadayadyada... crap man, we all know the raid was to eradicate any evidence of corrupt action by the chief

  • Iceman - 2011-03-04 16:04

    cele should be locked up together with shaik and zuma

  • Iconicaly - 2011-03-04 16:05

    who monitors the monitor? The monitor

  • - 2011-03-04 16:06

    This is the same as coming home to find a great steaming dog turd on the front lawn - then asking your dog to investigate it. - 2011-03-04 17:35

      And if there was toilet paper on the alleged "dog" turd?

  • sangoma69 - 2011-03-04 16:20

    The most likely suspect to order the action is now in charge of the investigation. Mthetwa is a bigger Mampara than Cele! I am sure it will be an independant and conclusive investigation. The ANC thinks everyone in SA is as stupid as their electorate and thus treats us all the same.

  • Totman - 2011-03-04 16:29

    If no one knows who the two cops were I would suggest that there should be an investigation, but through some people not connected to the police or the NPA. They can be represented on the investigation forum. Something like that. NI is not needed. Just now it was

  • Bonzer - 2011-03-04 17:21

    Mthethwa: Hey Cele it is me your boss. Cele: Yes boss ufunani? Mthethwa: you mus investigate. Cele: OK but what does it mean, this "investigate"? Mthethwa: Ei umfaan you are the police you mus know what is "investigate", ask an umlungu. Cele: Ja OK but we fired them all, no wait the tea lady is a umlungu I will ask her. Mthethwa: Good thinking, I knew there was a reason we promoted you.

  • tsephobee - 2011-03-04 18:32

    monkey say monkey do

  • Francois - 2011-03-05 08:40

    Kenneth Meshoe, you hypocrite, did God not ask you to step down as well after you lied to the voters in Natal in 2004? Why are you not listening, you are an ANC cadre in angel clothing.

  • Sydney - 2011-03-05 17:24

    Very very funny and downright stupid....Sounds more like a dog trying to bite its own balls...have you seen one, it goes around, around, till the sun goes then tries out again the next morning, so the folly continues. At the end of the bogus investigation; here's the verdict: This case is inconclusive since the two police dogsw are refusing to reveal their handlers..another usual day in the usual South Africa!!

  • pages:
  • 1