Cele’s man ‘spoke out of turn on return’

2014-10-29 00:00

THE Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have distanced themselves from calls for the reinstatement of former Bheki Cele as the country’s top cop.

In the wake of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa’s death on Sunday, #bringbackbhekicele trended on Twitter while the nation mourned.

In an exclusive interview with The Witness on Monday, Cele’s spokesperson Vuyo Mkhize said Cele had wanted to fight for his former job.

With news of his desire to pull his uniform back on, his resident department closed ranks and accused Mkhize of speaking out of turn.

Department spokesperson Nonkululeko Mbatha said: “We have noted the report which was published that Deputy Minister Bheki Cele has expressed a desire to be re-appointed as national commissioner of the SAPS.

“The ministry wish to record that Mr Mkhize was not mandated, by either itself or the deputy minister, to speak to the media on his behalf about any of the issues canvassed in this report,” she said.

She said Cele’s standpoint was not disputed, but instead were expressed in a private conversation and should not have been made public.

“The sentiments that were expressed to the reporter are nothing but his [Mkhize’s] personal interpretation of a private discussion he had with Cele on Monday morning. Accordingly, the office will not be commenting any further on this report or any of the issues canvassed therein,” Mbatha added.

Cele was axed in 2012 after a board of inquiry into whether he was fit to hold office found adversely.

The inquiry centred on multi-million rand lease deals that he signed with property tycoon Roux Shabangu.

Mkhize, speaking on Cele’s behalf, said he had become crime weary and that Meyiwa’s high-profile slaying had become a tipping point.

Mkhize said Cele had expressed his wish to take up his post.

“Give me my orders and my uniform and I will solve the problem,” he is understood to have said to Mkhize.

“Despite his experience and the pain he went through when he was removed, he would go back without a doubt.

“He told me before that he would never again resign from a post in the ANC and lose his political standing. Now he said forget that, give me my orders and my uniform and let me fix things,” Mkhize had said.

TOP TWEETS

IG: mandyngcece ‏@MandyNgcece

Bring back Bheki Cele. I am sure most of us are tired, actually FED UP of crime in RSA. Singaphela! #BringBackBhekiCele

Criselda Kananda ‏@positivegp

If Senzo’s death is blamed on CRIME!! There’s a saying that If you don’t like something change it! #BRINGBACKBHEKICELE Now! Enough already!

@Leezo60: The return of General Bheki Cele is needed in SAPS.This guy is stop nonsense #SenzoMeyiwa “

Eusebius McKaiser ‏@Eusebius

Hasty reaction #1: Bring back the death penalty!! Hasty reaction #2: If Bheki Cele was still in charge, Senzo would be alive still!!

Nkateko ///AMG ‏@RafaTeko

Bheki Cele was doing a great job as Commissioner crime stats had dropped to low levels under his leadership.

StarPrincess ‏@thespian_dame

I felt safer when Bheki Cele was police commissioner. Police were visible almost everywhere. Now u don’t see them at all.

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