Official denies knowing of police building

2012-03-15 14:52

Pretoria - A senior police official has denied knowing of property mogul Roux Shabangu and a Pretoria building he intended leasing to police.

Chief operations officer Bonang Mgwenya said on Thursday she only became aware of the Sanlam Middestad building when she was invited by Cele’s former deputy and procurement head Hamilton Hlela in March 2010.

She was testifying in an inquiry into the conduct of police chief Bheki Cele, who has been suspended over his alleged role in the leasing of office space to the police.

The Middestad building, which is owned by Shabangu, had been earmarked for police headquarters.

Hlela earlier claimed Mgwenya knew of the building and possibly visited it before.


She said on Thursday: "I will not agree with that. I guess he [Hlela] can be the one to explain that statement. The only day I visited that building was the day I was invited by the deputy national commissioner (Hlela)."

Mgwenya said in her time in Pretoria, she had never seen Sanlam Middestad, which was a stone's throw away from Wachthuis which police had intended moving some units from.

"You never saw Middestad?," asked inquiry board chairperson Judge Jake Moloi.

She replied: "I work in the city but I live in Centurion and when I am in the city... most of the time I work in higher offices and knock off late and never had time to idle. I didn't know the building."

On the day of the inspection, Mgwenya said she received a call from Hlela inviting her into his office to discuss the police’s accommodation.

She was accompanied by Cele’s legal advisor Julius Molefe, who also testified to this effect.

Mgwenya said she and Molefe diverted to Hlela’s office.

She confirmed that she told Hlela of the number of police components that needed to be housed in the building, as per directive by Cele.

Cele not informed

Mgwenya said she did not inform Cele of the visit because she did not see it necessary.

While she worked in Cele’s office at the time as a major-general, she said it was not her prerogative to inform Cele about their visit in which she followed Hlela around.

"There was nothing to report back. I told [Hlela] what he needed to know."

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry in October 2011 after negative findings about the leases by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

  • Marion - 2012-03-15 14:58

    Either she has been there or she hasn't, but it certainly cannot be both. Everybody pointing fingers now.

      procold2 - 2012-03-15 15:38

      hoa baas its not me, i knew nothing

      Hayden - 2012-03-15 15:43

      The biggest problem with government, is that no one takes responsibility or declares accountability. Not one of these guys knows what true leadership is.

  • Dennis - 2012-03-15 15:07

    There are so many lies going around that the truth will be difficult to decifer !! The ship is going down fast !!

      Marion - 2012-03-15 15:16

      Hope we've got more lifeboats than the Titanic...

      Dennis - 2012-03-15 15:30

      Chances are great that they too have been stolen !!

  • fani.masemola1 - 2012-03-15 15:08

    this is waste of time and our tax money...

  • Sechaba - 2012-03-15 15:22

    lol "never saw the building", i dobt she never saw it, if she works in the city then she has seen the building, play her the tape that shows that building that enews likes showing, and then ask her "are you sure madam that when leaving you highest building, you never saw this building?", i'll believe if she says "i have never entered the building"

  • resend - 2012-03-15 15:26

    cele agreed that he have to take all the responsibilities surrounding the case so the judge is the one who is dragging this all along to waste tax money which in my understanding is another way of enriching the fellow attorneys and the attorneys to come, is like this guys from the struggle has been promised so much that when is time to rip they intended to build the silo to put the harvest and not thinking about the parasites and crawling species god created to make life so mutualism not capitalism and monopoly infringed ideology from full of hatred and revege ,look on how they kids up to them and today their the ones on the dock is very disturbing to small kids taught to live good life now the next day he ahs to scatter to survive ,learn from the masters and you will live better,the must watch more of mafia movies to survive .

  • Thoka - 2012-03-15 15:27

    there is a song called who is fooling who!!! just cant remember the artist name. - 2012-03-15 16:00

      The song was by The Who . How very apt !

  • Bonani - 2012-03-15 15:36

    It's obvios that se knew about the building but she doesn't want to agree and there's a lot going on but hasn't yet been divulged.....

      bernpm - 2012-03-15 15:50

      the question was: "is Cele fit for office?" Not..."did x,y,z see the office under question" or "did x, y, z visit the office under question" But...then...the longer the inquiry, the longer Cele gets his salary and the investigators can charge their fees.

  • Gavin - 2012-03-15 15:45

    There's a rat in the kitchen what am I gonna do - chick a bow chick a bow.

  • PB - 2012-03-15 16:52

    Geeeeees woman, you are a joke. I still gave her the benefit of the doubt about the rest of her evidence, but claiming not to know Sanlam Middestad is beyond doubt a whopping lie. It is one of the highest buildings in the area, no more than 100 meters away from Wachthuis. On top of that, she would have had to drive past it every day on her way home to Centurion, because it is a 1 way going past it! You have shot yourself in the foot with this, you dummy!!!

  • luytster - 2012-03-15 18:14

    Angasi luto mena.

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