Under-fire Cele contradicts himself

2012-03-08 22:37

Pretoria - Suspended police chief Bheki Cele contradicted evidence on Thursday that he had earlier given to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

This related to the identification of a Durban building earmarked for the police's new offices.

"I don't know who identified the building," Cele said on his second day under cross-examination by evidence leader Viwe Notshe.

"But I know there are some SAPS [SA Police Service] officials who visited the site."

According to Madonsela, he said his former deputy and procurement head Hamilton Hlela did the identification.

Cele accepted that there was a contradiction in his testimony.

"You told the Public Protector that Hlela came to you with a building in mind," said Notshe.

"Correct," responded Cele after being warned by the board about the danger of being evasive when answering questions.

He said he had not identified either of the buildings - Sanlam Middestad in Pretoria and Transnet in Durban - as Hlela claimed on Wednesday.

Both buildings are owned by property mogul Roux Shabangu.

Cele denied instructing Hlela to issue a procurement notice for the Transnet building.

It later emerged that no money was available when Cele approved funding to lease the Transnet building.

"As a matter of fact, there were no funds available," Cele said when pressed by board chairman Jake Moloi.

Moloi asked Cele to explain his understanding of an advisory issued by the police's chief financial officer (CFO).

In the note, read out by Moloi, the CFO wrote: "As the national police commissioner approved the lease already, funds will have to be made available with opportunity, meaning that something else will have to be foregone and re-prioritised."

He suggested the CFO acted under pressure, as Cele had already signed for funding approval.

Cele replied: "But I also knew there could be re-prioritisation when needed."

Another member of the board of inquiry Terry Motau SC said: "You can't acquire something with something you don't have. You first have to look at the funds."

Cele repeated his reply about the possibility of re-prioritisation.

He said there had been no rush to sign the memorandum approving funds for the lease.

Cele said that after signing, he asked Hlela to see to it that the CFO perused the memorandum.

This was before he could confirm funding with the department of public works, which oversees the tender process.

He said he could not remember which areas were re-prioritised to pay the lease for the building.

He was asked about his failure to ensure that proper tender processes were followed.

"It was my hope they will be followed," he said.

Cele said there was a pressing need for accommodation because the lease for the Servamus building, worth about R1m a month, was about to expire.

Asked how much the move to the Transnet building would have cost, Cele said he could not remember, but "it would have cost several millions".

At the time, what mattered was the availability of the building, rather than funding, he said.

Cele was quizzed on Thursday over alterations made to the police's original needs analysis for office space.

Moloi asked Cele why the police requisition, initially indicating 21 000m², was changed to 25 000m².

Cele replied: "We had a new policy in the police that our stations needed to be equipped with gyms. That is how the original need for the space was changed."

The hearing was postponed to Monday.

  • Sedick - 2012-03-08 23:24

    His lips are moving, therefore we know that he is lying......

  • Seth - 2012-03-09 00:45

    Any fool can complain on this you switch your laptop and login that’s it but if what your say is true than act upon it organize ways to improve your country. I am sick and tired of you guys coming on this and complaining while going back to your daily routine and doing nothing about it you’re not dead are you no!! than do something to show the country you are alive. Your complains are as useful as malema diamond Rolex. You don't have to be white or black to take action unless you are doing something to improve your country even sending three poor kids to school every Monday or whatever you planning to do then some one’s life is getting better. “You cannot save everybody but everybody can save someone.

      jannie.beirowski - 2012-03-09 02:42

      What have you done? At least we are underwriting the correctness of investigating the wrongfull application of funds in the SAPS, knowing the correct application would hopefully produce a more effective SAPS. Maybe I can direct you to an English teacher to help you with your writing. That would mean something for the country as we will be saving time in trying to analise your writing.

      Freddie - 2012-03-09 07:29

      I fully concur Seth with your appeal for people to make a difference in their own communities. We can impact things such as social upliftment but plugging a few tiny holes in the dam wall of corruption and incompetence while a massive hole the size of a small meteorite is allowing our countries scarce resources to go down the proverbial drain. This is clearly an unsustainable situation. It's like asking the rich to pay higher taxes when we squander billions on maladministration and corruption. Most of the comments made here are by minority groups and as we all know in SA majoity rules. Therefore to make a change where it will make the most difference unless you're part of the majority will be difficult. We face a very tough challenge but if we all adopt your attitude then it will be a little easier for sure.

      Brian - 2012-03-09 07:43

      @Jannie - looks like you also need a spell-checker! Forget about the writing style, it's the message that matters. Seth's message is clear and correct - we MUST, all of us, DO SOMETHING, however small to bring this country back from the brink it teeters on and allow it to become the economic, financial and harmonious leader of the continent. We CAN do it.

      Christian J Denyschen - 2012-03-09 08:10

      your right seth any fool can comment here including u! people we read the article and comment on it, if you don't like it don't read it!

      Keith - 2012-03-09 09:41

      @Brian - I like your idea, but what do you suggest? The sheeple will keep voting in the ANC regardless of what corruption and maladmistration is uncovered. (It will not be uncovered if they get their way.)

  • Sally Lewitt - 2012-03-09 01:26

    SA in becoming SO tarnished in the eyes of the world, its now utterly embarrassing to be a \proud and safe\ South african! (Hanging head in shame) Too many worms crawling out of the \woodwork\ one on top of the other.. WTF. Good for my garden though..\r\nWould of been awesome if Madiba was a bit younger and Captained the ship, even Beki had more savvi.. Ai Ai Ai

  • Wesley - 2012-03-09 04:54

    He is not the sharpest pencil in the packet.

      carpejugulim - 2012-03-09 06:22

      ai no he isn't, open your mouth and change feet Cele

      ralph.schminke - 2012-03-09 07:04

      This dude ain't even a pencil. A Pencil can write.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-03-09 05:27

    can you say BUSTED?!?!?!? Why dont they just say yes i screwed up i was greedy, i was getting a kick back or bribe, im a dirty man and deserve to be removed from my post, I am sorry... but no its lie lie lie, and oh crap i forgot so lie some more

  • Anthony - 2012-03-09 05:37

    dumb, dumber, cele. but lets not forget who placed him there! showerhead

  • william - 2012-03-09 06:29

    I realy think cele's lift doesnt go to the top floor.

  • Kevin - 2012-03-09 06:33

    Do not collect 200 million. Go directly to jail. Miss the next 3 leases.

  • Sidney Gilroy - 2012-03-09 06:46

    Extra space for Gyms!?? Bwahahahahaha! You must mean extra space to accomodate a KFC Drive-Thru.

  • Wayne - 2012-03-09 06:49

    Mmmmmm, i smell a rat.......

  • Tulani - 2012-03-09 06:54

    "Asked how much the move to the Transnet building would have cost, Cele said he could not remember, but "it would have cost several millions"."........... # dats how a gulty man wud answer #

  • Sharon - 2012-03-09 07:03

    Smoke and mirrors - if caught out, tell as many lies as possible, sow confusion, and walk away.

  • inusvwyk - 2012-03-09 07:32

    @Bheki, start working on some kind of illness

  • PhilipV - 2012-03-09 07:37

    Just lock him up and get it over with. But I guess they are working on a mental illness plea.

      Balan - 2012-03-12 17:29

      Bheki Cele is definetely Retarded

  • Dale - 2012-03-09 07:59

    That is one big gym!

      Patsy - 2012-03-09 11:12

      Looking at the size of a lot of the policemen/women, they need it!!! Perhaps they could leave out the canteen and replace it with a gym?

  • Abram - 2012-03-09 09:43

    hey guys you all lost it the problem with cele is that his english is very poor,he seem not to understand questions,maybe he should be provided with an interpreter that is why the chairman thougt he is evasive

  • Patrick - 2012-03-09 10:29

    thats not hard, if u have half a brain!!! and this is the cop in charge???? poor sud africans

  • Gaby - 2012-03-09 10:38

    There is no evidence he received kickbacks. I got the impression he genuinly cared about his cops and crime went down.

  • Patsy - 2012-03-12 15:50

    For Pete's sake!!! Bumble, bumble, fumble, fumble!!! If you want to be a liar, you have to have a good memory. Unreal the excuses that come up!!!

  • sesom - 2012-03-12 15:52


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