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Police Minister Bheki Cele has revealed that he has been working from home for the past four years. During a Parliamentary briefing, Cele said the police headquarters, Telkom Towers, is referred to as the “terrible towers” because of its state.

The building in Pretoria’s city centre belongs to the Department of Public Works (DPW). After staff were evacuated last week because the building was declared uninhabitable, the Department has been accused of mismanaging the building.

The evacuation followed an inspection by the Department of Labour, police and Solidarity trade union.

The building complex was bought by the DPW in 2016 for about R700 million. According to a report by the Auditor General, only one of the nine buildings in the complex was ever been used by the South African Police Service.

During the briefing on Wednesday, Cele told MPs that the building was a “disaster”.

“The thing is a disaster… We paid more money trying to fix that thing than the money that we paid for buying it.”

Sifiso Mdakane, DPW director-general told MPs that he “felt bad” that Cele didn’t have an office and that arrangements would be made for alternative accommodation for the SAPS.

Image credit: Integrated Emergency Response

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