Mystery of Bheki Cele’s millions

2010-06-19 00:00

POLICE Commissioner General Bheki Cele’s spokesperson, Major-General Nonkululeko Mbatha, has vehemently denied that Cele’s house in the posh suburb of uMhlanga Rocks, north of Durban, was burgled and R1 million stolen.

Mbatha was responding to a report in the Mail & Guardian yesterday.

“General Cele’s house is guarded by police 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The only burglary we have records of occurred when Cele was still the KZN MEC in 2006 when his laptops and compact discs were stolen. There is absolutely no truth to these reports,” Mbatha said.

The Mail & Guardian yesterday reported persistent rumours that at least R1 million was stolen from Cele’s house in uMhlanga at the end of March last year.

The newspaper reported that the rumour about the theft is rife in security circles, and is reportedly being investigated by deputy provincial commissioner Johan Booysen.

However, Booysen, who is also the KwaZulu-Natal head of the Hawks (Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation) and is said to be very close to Cele, reportedly denied knowledge of the theft.

But the M&G quoted sources in the police and VIP protection units as saying that up to R5 million was stolen.

The theft allegedly took place just days before Cele sent a high-powered lobola delegation to the home of his fiancée, Thembeka Ngcobo, in Amanzimtoti on the south coast. The delegation included Durban multi-millionaire S’bu Mpisane, Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza, President Jacob Zuma’s son Edward and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe.

Cele reportedly often carries large sums of cash and has lost big wads before. Last month he confirmed that he lost about R20 000 in cash on a commercial South African Airways flight from Johannesburg to Durban.

He accidentally left his bag with the money on the plane, and when his security people returned, the bag had been opened and the money was missing.

Although Cele confirmed the incident and that he lost about R20 000 in cash, he did not open a case.

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