Commissioner's office clarifies house debate

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pretoria - The office of the National Police Commissioner Beki Cele says there is nothing unusual about the purchase of an official house for the commissioner.

In a statement, Cele's office said in terms of the South African Police Service Housing Policy, members appointed or deployed for operational purposes qualified for the provision of residential accommodation and the National Commissioner as an incumbent to the post falls within the category of such members.

This was a reaction to media reports questioning the purchase of a R2 989.092.30 (transfer and legal costs included) house for the commissioner.

"Upon the appointment of the National Commissioner, numerous efforts were made to acquire a state-owned residence for him. The attempts included approaching the Department of Public Works wherein it was established that there was no available official residence for occupation but rather the department had to facilitate the acquisition of a house which is to be occupied by the National Commissioner," the office said.

It said two options were explored that of leasing and purchasing and after careful consideration it was decided that leasing a house would not be cost effective but rather purchasing would cater for a medium to long term factor.

"In view of the nature of the appointment of the National Commissioner, security considerations also had to be taken into account to ensure that safety measures are in place." The security aspect conforms to policy in terms of the provision of security for the National Commissioner.

Also the previous two National Commissioners had owned residential houses in Pretoria unlike Cele who comes from KwaZulu-Natal.