Cele is spoiling for a fight

2012-05-26 20:47

Suspended national police commissioner General Bheki Cele says he will go to court to challenge the findings of a board of inquiry into his fitness to hold office – whether he is fired by President Jacob Zuma or not.

Cele and his backers believe he has to go for broke and have the findings of the board, headed by Judge Jake Moloi, declared invalid or face the prospect of the findings being used against him in future.

The board’s ­report, in which it’s recommended that Zuma should sack Cele, was reported this week.

“We are going to court regardless of what decision the president makes. Even if the president were to agree with our sentiments that the report is flawed and incorrect in its findings, even if his critique is that the commissioner doesn’t have to go, we will still go to court anyway.

“We cannot and will not let this report stand,’’ Cele’s personal spokesperson, Vuyo Mkhize, said yesterday.

Cele himself declined to be interviewed.

The board of inquiry was constituted by Zuma amid allegations that Cele behaved ­improperly in the leasing of properties to be used as police headquarters.

“We still have to decide whether we should wait for the president to take his decision or pre-empt it and go to court immediately. We are still mulling that over,” Mkhize said.

“The board’s recommendation simply rests on the erroneous conclusions that the commissioner acted unlawfully in relation to the procurement of the leases.

“The commissioner gave an account of how he relied on the experts in the supply chain management division of the SAPS to deal with the procurement of the leases.

“The error on his part was to trust them and their expertise. By any standard that cannot amount to misconduct,’’ Mkhize said.

It’s still not clear whether Cele will accept a “Plan B” mooted for him by regional ANC leaders in KwaZulu-Natal at the party’s recent provincial conference.

Cele had turned down several attempts to nominate him for the ­provincial leadership, saying his position as commissioner does not allow him to be a party office bearer.

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