[Debate] (Fwd) ANCorruption: Cele, Mdluli updates
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Mon Apr 2 17:33:23 BST 2012
Cele an 'active participant' in leasing scandal
JONISAYI MAROMO PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - Apr 02 2012 14:42
Embattled police chief Bheki Cele breached procurement procedures by
taking part in the "flawed leasing" of two buildings earmarked for
police accommodation, the board of inquiry into allegations against him
heard on Monday.
Evidence leader Mbuyiseli Madlanga dwelled on the July 5 alteration of
initial police space requirements in a meeting between property tycoon
Roux Shabangu, Cele and other police officials.
"General Cele wanted that particular building [Sanlam Middestad] to be
procured for the police. He identified the building and went ahead to
become an active participant in the leasing," said Madlanga.
"If he seriously has this attitude with regards to supply chain
management, with all the respect that is due to him, we submit that he
is a menace when it comes to compliance with the Public Finance
Management Act and treasury regulations."
Madlanga said there was an "unexplained relationship" between Cele and
Shabangu, which made Cele "compliant to all things Shabangu said".
The unexplained relationship was an undeclared conflict of interest, he
"Despite having signed a document authorising the procurement of 21 000
square metres, General Cele was going along with his purpose, which was
to meet Shabangu's needs," said Madlanga.
The space requirement was amended to 25 000 square metres.
Madlanga dismissed suggestions by Cele's defence team that former deputy
police commissioner Hamilton Hlela had not accused Cele of corruption.
This was up to the inquiry to decide, he said.
"General Hlela's role was to give evidence and the board is mandated to
decide on that," he said.
Madlanga said Cele had acted dishonestly by not telling Hlela, the
former police procurement head, the name of the person who was going to
call him about the accommodation procurement.
"It was a calculated move by General Cele. He did not tell General Hlela
that Mr Shabangu owns a building and he will call you to discuss
"He was a bit cagey about the identity of the person who would call.
That is why he didn't say who was going to contact General Hlela.
"General's Cele's approach [in relation to the two leases] seems to be
that he does not have any insight to his responsibilities. He must make
sure that from any angle, he is not party to any improper procurement
"In this case, he did not only partake in the procurement process, he
actually initiated and participated at every step of the way."
Madlanga said that apart from misconduct, the "gross breach of the
Public Finance Management Act alone warrants the board to recommend
Cele's removal from office".
He argued that the South African Police Service, as an interested party
in the accommodation procurement lease, "cannot wash its hands and let
the responsibility of stopping the horse from bolting" fall to the
public works department alone.
Madlanga said Cele had tried to "wiggle himself out" of responsibility
during public protector Thuli Madonsela's probe into the leasing of
Transnet building in Durban.
"The public protector, however, managed to puncture holes throughout his
[Cele's] testimony. She demonstrates that his version was lacking in
truthfulness," said Madlanga.
He criticised Cele's evidence that he had invited the Special
Investigating Unit to investigate when he realised that there was
improper conduct in the police procurement chain.
The board of inquiry, appointed by President Jacob Zuma and chaired by
Judge Jake Moloi, is mandated to establish whether Cele acted corruptly,
dishonestly, or with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to
two police lease deals signed with Shabangu.
It also has to determine his fitness to hold office, and his capacity to
efficiently execute his duties.
Such misconduct could warrant a recommendation for his dismissal. -- Sapa
‘I will quit over Mdluli’
South Africa’s acting police chief is threatening to quit after being
ordered by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to lift the suspension of
corruption-implicated crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
A “devastated” Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, the acting
national commissioner, is waiting to attend a meeting with President
Jacob Zuma, where he is expected to discuss vacating his job.
Sources close to this week’s dramatic reinstatement of Mdluli and Major
General Solly Lazarus, the controversial head of finance at crime
intelligence, have told City Press that Mkhwanazi was shocked at the
level of political interference in the case.
“Nobody knows what will happen next. People are frightened. What will
happen to those who investigated Mdluli?” said a senior police source.
Mkhwanazi was committed to cleaning up crime intelligence, which has
been embroiled in a scandal over the abuse of a R200 million secret
City Press can also reveal that:
» Mdluli was not only reinstated to his old job, but was given the
Presidential Protection Unit and the Protection and Security Services
Unit. These units control the protection of Zuma and his ministers;
» This in effect gives Mdluli access to and control over the movements
of all members of Zuma’s Cabinet, including those who will oppose his
candidacy at the ANC’s national conference in December; and
» A showdown looms in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) between
prosecutors in charge of Mdluli’s case and senior NPA bosses, who again
have refused to prosecute Mdluli.
Mkhwanazi declined to comment on whether he was told by Mthethwa to
reinstate Mdluli and if he would stay on in the police.
City Press revealed last week that the Inspector General of
Intelligence, Advocate Faith Radebe, had advised Mkhwanazi in a letter
to reinstate charges of fraud and corruption against Mdluli.
This had massive aftershocks, all pointing to a concerted effort by
senior politicians close to Zuma to protect Mdluli and get him back into
Informed sources in the police, NPA and justice cluster told City Press:
» Shortly after writing to Mkhwanazi that criminal charges against
Mdluli should be reinstated, Radebe was put under “massive pressure” by
“senior ministers” to withdraw her letter;
» Radebe “was traumatised to the point of crying”;
» Mkhwanazi refused to hand back the letter, telling Radebe she had
acted in accordance with the law and they had to do “the right thing”;
» On Tuesday, Mthethwa called Radebe and Mkhwanazi to a meeting at which
he ordered Mkhwanazi to lift Mdluli’s suspension and told Radebe to
withdraw her letter;
» Radebe, under tremendous political pressure, told Mthethwa she had
requested Mkhwanazi to give back the letter after receiving a call from
“number one” (presumably a reference to Zuma), but he refused; and
» Mkhwanazi told Mthethwa he would not lift Mdluli’s suspension and
would rather resign than be forced to do so.
Mthethwa told Mkhwanazi that he didn’t appoint him – Zuma did – and that
only the president could accept his resignation. Zuma was in India this
week attending a Brics summit.
Mkhwanazi, under protest, proceeded to lift the suspensions of Mdluli
and Lazarus, but insisted that his name should not be associated with
On Wednesday, a day after the meeting with Mthethwa, the police released
a terse statement saying “a decision was taken to lift the suspension of
Mdluli and Lazarus concurrently”. The statement did not say who took the
Yesterday, Mthethwa’s spokesperson, Zweli Mnisi, denied the minister
instructed Mkhwanazi to reinstate Mdluli and Lazarus, saying he didn’t
suspend them in the first place and “police management”, led by
Mkhwanazi, handled departmental processes.
He confirmed that Mthethwa met the “entire management of the police” on
Tuesday to discuss “policing matters”.
Zuma’s spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, on Friday vehemently denied any
involvement by the president in getting Mdluli back into the police and
said Zuma never called Radebe.
NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga yesterday confirmed that Advocate
Lawrence Mrwebi, head of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit, would
not prosecute Mdluli for fraud, even though Radebe advised him to do so.
This could place Mrwebi on a collision course with advocates Sibongile
Mzinyathi, director of public prosecutions for North Gauteng, and
Glynnis Breytenbach, head of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit in
North Gauteng, who apparently believed that they had a rock-solid case
and that charges against Mdluli should be reinstated.
“Advocate Mrwebi has already made his decision on the matter and we
indicated that he considered insufficiency of evidence that would
sustain a conviction in conjunction with representations made by
Mdluli’s legal representatives,” Mhaga said.
Mrwebi again advised the police to refer the matter to Radebe’s office,
even though she had already said she did not have the powers to
investigate Mdluli’s alleged criminality.
- City Press
Acting police commissioner stays put
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Apr 01 2012 14:58
Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi remains acting police commissioner
despite media reports of his imminent resignation, his spokesperson said
Brigadier Lindela Mashigo said he could not comment on a City Press
report that Mkhwanazi intended meeting with President Jacob Zuma to
tender his resignation.
"I am well aware of the writing [in the newspaper] ... I have no
comment, but to accompany my 'no comment' I am saying that he is still
in place as acting national commissioner," Mashigo said.
He also declined to comment on reports that Mkhwanazi objected to the
reinstatement of crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and finance head
Major-General Solly Lazarus. Their suspensions were lifted last week.
The City Press reported that Mkhwanazi was "shocked" at political
interference around the issue.
On Friday, the presidency denied that Zuma had interfered with a
corruption probe into Mdluli's affairs or his reinstatement and said it
was an internal police matter.
Urging a rethink
It also denied that Zuma had asked Inspector General of Intelligence
Faith Radebe to rethink her decision to hand over the Mdluli
investigation to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Mdluli was suspended in May after murder charges were laid against him.
Following this, fresh charges relating to fraud and corruption in the
abuse of crime intelligence funds were levelled at both Mdluli and
Lazarus but these were provisionally withdrawn.
In February, the NPA announced that the best way to deal with the murder
charges against Mdluli was through a formal inquest and not a trial.
On Sunday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said neither Mdluli nor Lazarus
should be reinstated until public protector Thuli Madonsela had
completed an investigation into the matter.
DA police spokesperson Dianne Kohler-Barnard said she would write to
Madonsela to request an investigation.
The investigation should also look at the reasons for the scrapping of
the police's internal disciplinary process against Mdluli.
Kohler-Barnard said it was alleged in a report, compiled by senior crime
intelligence Majors-General Chris de Kock and Mark Hankel and submitted
to Radebe in November, that Mdluli plundered the crime intelligence unit.
It was further alleged that Mdluli's family members had been drafted
into the crime intelligence agent programme but had not undertaken
In the report, Mdluli was accused of abusing a Durban travel agent when
he and his family travelled more than 50 times at the state's expense.
Also, a journalist was allegedly paid R100 000 to write a positive story
about the police, and another was allegedly paid R50 000 not to publish
a story about a senior police official.
The DA was "adamant" that Mdluli should answer for these allegations in
court, she said. -- Sapa
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