Presidency mum on Cele status

2012-05-25 07:29
Johannesburg - The board of inquiry into suspended national police commissioner Bheki Cele's fitness to hold office has recommended that he be removed, the eNews channel reported on Thursday night.

However, President Jacob Zuma's spokesperson Mac Maharaj said this was speculation.

"The president has received the report and is processing it and until then he will not engage in speculation," Maharaj said.

"There is no basis for the speculation," he said.

According to an eNews report, the board of inquiry found that Cele lacked the capacity to execute his official duties efficiently and was not fit to hold office.

The television news channel reported that the board found his grave misconduct as national police commissioner and his apparent unlawful conduct further proved that he was unable to hold office.

Questionable relationship with Shabangu

It reported that evidence also suggested there was a questionable relationship between Cele and property tycoon Roux Shabangu.

The board was appointed by Zuma in November to probe Cele's fitness to remain in office and allegations of misconduct relating to two leases for new police headquarters in Pretoria and Durban.

This, after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Cele's action pertaining to the leases was improper, unlawful and amounted to misconduct.

The team which led evidence against Cele in the inquiry called for his dismissal. He denied any wrongdoing.

Board of inquiry chairperson Judge Jakes Moloi presented the inquiry's report to Zuma on May 20.

Cele's counsel Vincent Maleka said on Thursday night that he had not seen the inquiry's report and so could not confirm whether it had been recommended that Cele be removed.

On the social networking site Twitter, Mail&Guardian editor Nic Dawes said that Cele was planning a court challenge.

- SAPA
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