Cele looks set to become minister in next Zuma cabinet

2014-03-13 00:00

CONTROVERSIAL Bheki Cele is listed first on the ANC’s provincial candidate list for KwaZulu-Natal.

Also on the ANC’s provincial list for KZN are Barbara Thompson, deputy minister of Energy, and Nhlanhla Nene deputy minister of Finance.

Two well-known names in Justice, John Jeffery, deputy minister of Justice, and Lewellyn Lan­ders, chairperson of the justice portfolio committee, are also on the provincial list for KZN.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza yesterday said the political careers of deputy ministers and senior ANC MPs whose names did not appear among the 200 names on the ANC’s national candidate lists were far from over. He said these ANC members had been accommodated on the provincial and/or the “pro­vincial to national” lists.

The DA’s shadow deputy minister of police, Dianne Kohler Barnard, said Cele’s return was a disgrace as it points to Cele becoming a minister. In June 2012 President Jacob Zuma sacked Cele as national police commissioner for his mismanagement and illegal actions.

“The return of Mr Cele can simply not be justified. He has been the subject of two damning reports by the Moloi Police Board of Inquiry and the Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, respectively. It is yet another indication that President Zuma’s ANC is not serious about fighting corruption in South Africa,” said Barnard.

The Moloi Police Board of Inquiry recommended that criminal charges be considered and reportedly found Cele:

• guilty of gross misconduct regarding the procurement of the Sanlam Midde­stad and Transnet buildings in Pretoria and Durban;

• favoured buildings owned by property mogul Roux Shabangu;

• caused procurement processes of the SAPS supply chain management to be manipulated by Shabangu;

• failed to appreciate the nature and importance of responsibilities attached to his position;

• failed to appreciate the importance and consequences of the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act.

The board of inquiry followed the Public Protector’s findings that Cele’s conduct in the police lease deal scandal was improper, unlawful and amounted to maladministration.

In the Northern Cape, the inclusion on the list of the ANC chairperson and MEC for Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism John Block, has elicited criticism, as did the names of Alvin Botes (fourth on the list of the Northern Cape legislature) and Yolanda Botha (fifth on the list for provincial to national).

The three are facing charges of fraud involving millions of rands and pleaded not guilty in the high court in Kimberley in February.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe yesterday said Block and disgraced minister Dina Pule had not been found guilty in a court and thus had no criminal record that could prevent them from being elected to Parliament.

David Lewis, director of Corruption Watch, said Mantashe’s reaction sends out all the wrong signals about the ANC’s policies on corruption. He said if there was even just a perception that a candidate was guilty of an offence, that person had to stand down.

“Even if someone has not yet been found guilty in a court, but the perception exists that he or she abused state money, such a person should not be on a candidate list,” said Lewis.

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