Bheki Cele fired

Johannesburg - General Bheki Cele has been dismissed as national police chief, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

"I have decided to release General Cele from his duties," Zuma told reporters in Pretoria.

He referred to the board of inquiry mandated to establish whether Cele acted corruptly, dishonestly, or with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to two police lease deals signed with business tycoon Roux Shabangu - one for a building in Pretoria, another for a building in Durban.

"The board has found General Cele to be unfit for office and has recommended his removal from office in terms of the provisions of section 8(6)(b)(v) of the South African Police Service Act No. 68 of 1995," said Zuma.

"Having thoroughly considered the report of the board, and applied my mind thereto, I have decided to release General Cele from his duties.

"General Cele still has a lot to contribute to the country given his experience and commitment to making South Africa a better place for all each day," said Zuma.

Last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Cele's that involvement in deals to acquire police office space was "improper, unlawful, and amounted to maladministration".

She said while Cele had not signed the final lease, he had initiated negotiations with Shabangu, and had seemed determined to secure the leases despite warnings against them.

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