Minister says her voice yet to be heard

2011-09-09 22:15

Pretoria - Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde said on Friday the past few months had been tough on her as she remained in the spotlight over the police office lease saga.

"I have been a public representative all my life and I have never seen my face in almost every newspaper [as has been the case] for the past six months," she told reporters after meeting provincial MECs in Pretoria.

She wanted to convey her side of the story and put a lid on this "burning matter".

Asked whether she thought she had been fairly treated, she said: "I don't know whether I was treated fairly or unfairly. I still maintain my voice is yet to be heard."

Dealing with the matter amid public scrutiny and criticism had been tough, but "politics is not an easy game". She had put her trust in the African National Congress for support.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde said the lease debacle was not discussed during Friday's meeting.

She denied dodging portfolio committee meetings in Parliament, saying she and her legal team had made themselves available.

"Last Tuesday, I presented myself to all political parties [in the committee] because I wanted people to stop saying that they can't find me, I am nowhere to be seen, I don't want to respond."

Mahlangu-Nkabinde said she and her lawyers stayed throughout the meeting and insisted she was ready to respond to questions people needed to ask.

"The chair of the public works portfolio committee requested that can't I wait until such time that the portfolio committee of police took part in the meeting."


Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her first report, "Against the Rules" in February, in which she found a multi-million-rand lease for new police headquarters in Pretoria unlawful and invalid.

She released a second report, titled "Against the Rules Too" in July, on the lease of Durban's Transnet Building to the police.

The Durban lease would have been worth R1.16bn over 10 years, and that of the Middestad Building in Pretoria R604m over the same period.

Madonsela recommended that President Jacob Zuma take action against Mahlangu-Nkabinde for failing to co-operate with a probe into the two leases.

National police chief General Bheki Cele was also chastised, as he was the accounting officer for the leases signed with businessman Roux Shabangu.

The Democratic Alliance filed criminal charges against Cele and Mahlangu-Nkabinde with the Cape Town police in August.

Zuma submitted his preliminary report on Madonsela's findings to the speaker of the National Assembly early last month, and it was then referred it to both the public works and the police portfolio committees.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde said it was important for South Africans to know what had happened. She said she had been waiting a "very, very long time" and had asked that the matter be tabled and finalised in the coming weeks.

"My request was that the matter be put on the table this week, but unfortunately the portfolio committee is out on oversight [visits] in other provinces."

  • POLLENYS - 2011-09-09 22:34

    "the past few months had been tough on her" Tough only because she is incapable of performing her duties.

      letsee - 2011-09-10 11:27

      Be transparent and don't play games.

  • Phaedioux - 2011-09-09 22:37

    It would be fantastic if this matter was finally put to bed! This 'African time' method of dealing with problems is now becoming totally boring - justice never seems to be served.

      Netherlander - 2011-09-10 06:50

      Why does the "OUSIE" not just call a press conference and EXPLAIN HERSELF!!! What is so difficult about that? Or is she not upto facing the South African PEOPLE, to EXPLAIN WHY SHE SIGNED THOSE DOCUMENTS AGAINST ALL BETTER JUDGEMENT???? GWEN, you will NEVER BE RESPECTED AS A PERSON... BY ANYONE WHO PAYS TAXES in South Africa!!!!!!!

      Organist-1 - 2011-09-10 10:19

      In a case like this where looking for scapegoats are concerned, she has probably been silent for so long, busy looking overseas for a spin doctor to get her out of this mess. Wonder who the scapegoat is gonna be. Cele ??

  • Neil - 2011-09-09 22:49

    It is not that justice is taking a long time, it is that justice is being evaded as they attempt to sweep this under the carpet.

      Netherlander - 2011-09-10 06:46

      Imagine what is LURKING UNDERNEATH those PROVERBIAL Carpets in Govt.... SCAREY STUFF!!!

  • Rev. H-Cubed - 2011-09-09 22:54

    Oh come on! What on earth could possibly have prevented her voice from being heard but her own silence? As a minister, she has more opportunity than the average citizen to be heard. Spare us the self-pity, minister.

  • bogo - 2011-09-09 23:08

    you enjoye the money, now it is time to pay

  • Joe - 2011-09-09 23:08

    Ag siestog!!! You have had how many weeks now to respond???

  • leonard - 2011-09-09 23:14

    If this ignorant minister is trying to drum up pity for herself she fails.Just listening to her inane stupid comments confirms what I have said all along,government is rotten from the head down with corruption the order of the day.The one covers for the other.

  • Davearch - 2011-09-09 23:14

    What on earth is stopping this crook from telling us why she is STEALING from the POOR ?? After all, does she not belong to the PARTY OF THE POOR, LED BY THE RICH !!

  • Kevin - 2011-09-09 23:52

    Her voice hasn't been heard! Well in terms of the laws governing the Public Protector she was legally obliged to respond and did not. The Public Protector then reported the matter to the President as she is bound to do and he is supposed to discipline her. Problem solved! Jacob Zuma instructed his Ministers to approve the leases notwithstanding their illegality and the socalled application of his mind on this matter is to try and avoid the matter for long enough for the "Jacob Zuma Defense " to apply. What is the "Jacob Zuma Defense" you may well ask? It is the delay of the justice system so long with such political interference that the Director of the NPA declines to prosecute. This will allow Jacob Zuma to illegally reward his cronies with public money and no one gets prosecuted. Simple!

  • Martin - 2011-09-10 03:39

    It's simple. Why did you try and steal our money? Was the president somehow involved, as he's keeping very quiet? If you innocent, you sure keeping it hidden. If you guilty, come clean and face the consequence. Don't underestimate the taxpayers inteligence.

  • blcotter - 2011-09-10 07:09

    The Times daily newspaper has been showing a countdown clock for action by President Zuma to finalise this issue with Cele and Nkabinde with 0 days left Monday 12 September. What happens if Zuma does nothing. Can Madonsela prosecute?

  • normanmt - 2011-09-10 07:28

    Maybe waiting for the info bill to be signed ,then it will be classified 'state security'and walla case closed.

  • scipio - 2011-09-10 07:28

    i cannot believe how absurd things are now here in this country. lady you are as guilty as sin. everybody knows it. your silence has been deafoning. you wouldnt even turn up for work cos you would look like the stupid woman you are. for gods sake take your money and bugger off. you did ok for yourself. you are so typical of those with power. you are simply not as smart as you like to think you are. and while im at it, holy crap you aint pretty!

  • Rich - 2011-09-10 07:56

    Well put Scipio, this fraudster woman has got a face that looks like a burst arse-hole, it's no wonder she's staying out of the limelight!!!

      scipio - 2011-09-10 09:14

      well she cant be two faced cos if she was she wouldnt be wearing that one.

  • Rich - 2011-09-10 09:52

    Maybe her "bottem" is prettier than her "torp" !!!

  • letsee - 2011-09-10 11:27

    Be transparent and don't play games.

  • Cheryl Muir - 2011-09-10 12:08


  • Cheryl Muir - 2011-09-10 12:12


  • Cheryl Muir - 2011-09-10 12:15


  • andrew - 2011-09-10 12:29

    please let her voice be heard? Because if we have to see that face any more, i think I will puke!!!!

  • Cheryl Muir - 2011-09-10 12:52


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