Witness a no-show at Cele hearing

2012-03-13 22:18

Pretoria - A witness meant to testify in the misconduct inquiry against suspended national police commissioner Bheki Cele did not show up on Tuesday after her union advised her to stay away.

It emerged she had been told not to sign a letter sent to her by evidence leader advocate Viwe Notshe, requesting her to testify against Cele.

It was believed that she belonged to the SA Police Union

"She was about to sign and the union representatives instructed her not to sign until she is subpoenaed," Notshe told the inquiry, sitting in Pretoria.

Notshe's request for a short adjournment was turned down by inquiry chairperson Judge Jake Moloi, who described the situation as unfortunate. He postponed the matter to Thursday.

Notshe said his two juniors would come back with the witness and her signed affidavit.

Notshe refused to disclose to journalists and Cele's defence who the witness was, as it was a "delicate" matter.

He expressed disappointment at the postponement.

Cele's attorney advocate Vincent Maleka criticised the delay.

"These were foreseeable problems and should have been dealt with a long time ago," he said.

In postponing the matter, Moloi said the board was also struggling to get in touch with the police's chief operations officer Lieutenant General Bonang Mgwenya and KwaZulu-Natal's provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni.

Their names have featured frequently since the start of the hearing last week.

The board was also struggling to get hold of acting national police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

"Attempts were made earlier to reach them and advise them of the importance of appearing. Mysteriously, none of them are reachable by phone," said Moloi.

He said the matter would be taken up with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa "to see to it" that they appeared before the hearing.

"This is a very important issue and it ought to receive the attention it deserves, even at ministerial level," said Moloi.

"Consequently, this board must adjourn, anticipating the witnesses will be brought to this board sitting."

Earlier the hearing was delayed for about four hours.

Cele's defence called its last witness on Monday.

Notshe indicated that he was still looking for two more witnesses, including former public works department director general Siviwe Dongwana. The department oversees procurement processes for the government, including the SAPS.

The inquiry is trying to establish whether Cele acted corruptly, dishonestly or with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to two police lease deals signed with businessman Roux Shabangu, his fitness to hold office and his capacity to efficiently execute his duties.

It emerged on Monday that Cele never sought legal advice for the Sanlam Middestad building in Pretoria, earmarked for use as the police’s new headquarters.

He also admitted to approving R1.1bn funding for the Transnet building in Durban while aware of the fact that there was no money in police coffers. He has also admitted to signing official documents without questioning them.

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

  • kgomotso.radise - 2012-03-13 22:41

    This inquiry will open can of worms and Cele head is on the block but I forsee head rolling here.

      Bokfan - 2012-03-14 00:07

      My friend I hope you are resisting the PoI Bill as it is the death knell of informed opinion in this country. From what you have read above judicial process is treated with contempt by the corrupt and the timid. We want a country where the truth can be heard by one and all so they may decide for themselves what is right and wrong. Those who want to deny us that right are the enemies of democracy!!!

      Anthony - 2012-03-14 06:15

      that can is a lot bigger, say oil drum?

  • Mfosi - 2012-03-13 22:44

    Corrupt and an imbecile, marvelous pairing!!!

  • Xavier7034 - 2012-03-13 22:48

    Who was Cele appointed by?

      kgomotso.radise - 2012-03-13 22:52

      You mean, it goes without saying!

      Xavier7034 - 2012-03-13 23:00

      Yup! :-)

      Art - 2012-03-14 03:35

      Cele was appointed by your president...

  • Yar - 2012-03-13 22:52

    Find those union officials and charge them with contempt of court. Jail them. If the lady refuses to go to the inquiry, she can have the cell next door.

  • Bongeka - 2012-03-13 23:37

    How does one get out of this mess?This is bad Mr Cele.But by the look of things and following the inquiry it looks like Mr Cele dug his own grave but just didn't realise how deep he was going. It breaks my heart when I think about how I liked the way you approached criminals.I thought you were the top cop and arresting people who do crime.Now you have to answer in front of the judge.What do I tell my three year old daughter because she'll have questions about you being questioned by the authorities? Where did all good role moddels go to?Are they all dead or it's just me who is still dreaming and they'll be there when I wake up?

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-03-13 23:45

      I agree, Bongeka. I liked his style too, and so did a lot of Police officers. I thought that he was framed, but my perception is changing fast. They are playing politics in this hearing. I hope they all go down. Better for you to be you child's hero.

      Bokfan - 2012-03-14 00:09

      Eish my bru. We are one in our sorrow.

      Wendy - 2012-03-14 06:42

      Bongeka, it is really sad when we put our trust in authorities and they are time and time again letting us down .. and especially the people that are suppose to protect us.

  • Comrade - 2012-03-14 04:04

    SAP Union supporting corrution and the destruction of our country by these thieving scum rtrash rubbish pigs!!... why am i not surprised

  • Bongeka - 2012-03-14 04:36

    Yes you can say that again Tania.Nobody believed that, but as time goes by,questions being asked and the commissioner mumbling when he answers, it starts revealing some dark sides/secretes we didn't know or imagined they exist.Maybe judge Moloi will find otherwise.Let's just wait and see the final outcome. The only thing I can say is,all the government employees especially those in parliament and provincial MEC'S/Municipality must stop getting too big for their shoes once they're there because they end up forgeting that they're also employed,they have to deliver to the public,they have someone to report to and the very same public they're getting too big for pays their salaries.If he had that in his mind all the time he wouldn't have forgoten that he has to read and question every contract before signing it off.Unless otherwise,you be the judge.From now on I'm my daughters's role moddel.It might take you quite some time to climb the ladder.Once you're on top you should try to hold on there because falling will take you just a split of a second and you'll be down. To all those in government high,middle or low positions,please take the advise above,use it and you'll see how comfortable you'll be.Just do your job with a smile and honesty and the public will receive you with a smile.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-03-14 05:47

    Mafia @ work

  • Carel de Lange - 2012-03-14 05:54

    Thick as thieves they are! Just another disgrace from a disgraceful government.

  • Ian - 2012-03-14 06:26

    hopefully her ONION will tell her to jump off a building too, will she do that too, unions are the death knell of this country

  • Wendy - 2012-03-14 06:38

    Different laws for different people .. nothing new

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-03-14 06:48


      Pharaoh Malope - 2012-03-14 06:57

      Next time kindly suppress the desperation to use all CAPS

  • Born - 2012-03-14 07:26

    why did the witness submit the statement to the board and the refuse to come and corroborate the contens of the statement.i think sapu is abuse its mandate to ill advice the member not submitting a statement one is by implication say i am prepared to divulge more.sapu u r out of order on this 1·

  • Mark - 2012-03-14 08:09

    Well at least we now know for certain that the unions do hold more power than anyone else, that they in fact do run this country. Good to know that.

  • Herman - 2012-03-14 08:23

    Wonder if Chele is behind this intimidation? Subpoena the bitch!

  • kasamkelo - 2012-03-14 08:29

    Yah shoot to kill. Aim for the heard. stomach in - chest out!!!

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