Bheki Cele 'likely to fight back'

2012-06-07 10:01

Durban - President Jacob Zuma has shown police chief Bheki Cele the door, nine months after suspending his one-time ally as the country’s top cop.

Cele is the second consecutive police commissioner to leave office under a cloud. He was appointed to succeed Jackie Selebi, who was later convicted of corruption and is currently serving a jail term.

The decision to fire Cele is in line with last month’s recommendations of the Moloi board of inquiry, which found that Cele was not fit to hold office and lacked capacity to execute his job.

The three-member board, headed by Judge Jake Moloi, was established by Zuma after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s investigation into two police headquarters lease deals, in which Cele’s involvement was found to be improper and amounting to maladministration.

Madonsela’s report also led to the sacking of then public works minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde.

Official announcement

While sources confirmed that Cele had been told to go, they declined to go on the record, saying it was the president’s prerogative to make the official announcement.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said on Wednesday night he had noted the rumours, but could not confirm or comment on them.

“It is safe to say that the president will make an announcement on this matter once he is ready.”

The Witness has reliably learnt that Cele was officially informed of his dismissal this week.

It appears the presidency decided to hold off making the announcement until after the court application by rights group Freedom Under Law for an interdict against suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday interdicted Mdluli from performing any official police duties pending FUL’s high court review of the decision to reinstate him as crime intelligence chief, despite allegations of murder and corruption levelled against him.

Meanwhile, the man tipped to take over from Cele, labour director-general Nathi Nhleko, was overseas and could not be reached for comment.

Acting police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, who appears to have burnt his bridges over his tough stance against Mdluli, declined to comment.

In his reaction, Cele’s spokesperson Vuyo Mkhize would only say: “I’m certain if indeed the president has fired General Cele, he will be making an announcement to that effect pretty soon and therefore there can hardly be any need for me to entertain your speculation in this regard.”

Cele likely to fight back

Cele has previously indicated that he would seek a judicial review if he was fired, if only to clear his name, as he believed the board’s report was “fundamentally flawed”.

Mkhize told The Witness last month the report was “nothing but a crude hatchet job designed to dupe the president into believing that there is justifiable cause to rob South Africa of the services of the best police commissioner that the country has ever had”.

It was not clear whether any of the board’s other recommendations would be followed.

These included the suggestion that Cele’s relationship with property mogul Roux Shabangu, as well as with other members of the police service, should be the subject of a criminal investigation.

The fate of KZN police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni, and the police’s chief operations officer Bonang Mngwenya - who received a roasting in the Moloi report - was not clear.

The board took both women to task for trying to “mislead” it, although it subsequently transpired that the inquiry had erred in some observations about Ngobeni’s appointment. It could not be established whether the action against Cele meant that Ngobeni and Mngwenya were also in trouble.

Police ministry spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said the minister, Nathi Mthethwa, would not comment on police operational matters. Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu would also not comment.

SA Police Service spokesperson Brigadier Lindela Mashigo said the police had not received the Moloi report and could therefore not comment on what likely action, if any, would be taken against Ngobeni.

“No one within Saps has the report. It is still with the presidency and once we have received it, we will study it and determine if any action needs to be taken.”

Mashigo said he was aware of the media speculation about Cele’s dismissal, but could not comment. He too referred The Witness to the presidency.

Charm offensive

The KZN ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) this week resolved that its top five officials should seek a meeting with Zuma, after allegations that non-ANC members were seen to have more protection than those who with struggle credentials.

Among those mentioned were former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda, former sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile and Cele himself. An ANC regional secretary confirmed the issue was discussed, but would not be drawn into giving more details. Nor would he say whether there would be a move by some in the KZN ANC to secure a political position for Cele.

He would only say that the PEC had discussed matters of national and provincial importance, and that the Cele issue was still “very sensitive to talk about”.

Speaking to The Witness on condition of anonymity, ANC KZN sources said Cele was on a “charm offensive” and had met councillors and senior branch members to “win over hearts and minds”.

His supporters said that while they believed he might have to keep a low profile for now, he would make a political comeback.

  • Patrick - 2012-06-07 10:06


      Charles-Bronson - 2012-06-07 10:10

      Fight back for what? The task team setup to see if Cele is useless confirm that. Maybe they need another task team to confirm the first task team did the job correctly so that the second task team can clearly confirm the outcome by the first task team is correct. F@king Jokers!!!

      Christopher - 2012-06-07 10:20

      @Bheki..go F**K yourself!

      Peace - 2012-06-07 10:40

      Alicia who are the "sane" that ANC should give the country back to run?Are you talking about the architects of apartheid who stole and drove black people from their land?are you talking about the same people who denied black people access to quality education and equall opportunities?Are you talking about the same people who incarcerated and denied freedom fighters fair trials?Well I think not,we as as the black majority will not allow that to happen(we will not be ruled by a white man ever again)Intead we are waging a war for the minority to to hand over what rightfully belongs to us(our land and mineral resources)and thereafter you can swim back to europe.

      Christopher - 2012-06-07 10:47

      @peace we are ruling this country with the white money...and the anc is stealing our money, there is only so much white money that they can steal...soon you will be living in squalor once the white peoples money is no longer or they have moved to other pastures. Njoi what you have now, it aint going to last too long.Their are pastures out there that respect people contribution to society and does not steal.

      sabongam - 2012-06-07 11:12

      @ Patrick - you, I and the rest of SA tax payers,unfortunately.

      sabongam - 2012-06-07 11:30

      At Peace - I do not think that your way of reasoning is sane...In fact the opposite...Certainly it's not what your name suggests - there's nothing peaceful about your comments. Your radical views belong in the Dark Ages because if all black people thought like you I certainly doubt it if you this country would prosper. And Christopher, are you implying that black people do not pay taxes and contribute to this country's economy since you're saying that white people's money rules SA? White owned companies which are major contributors to SA's economy have black labour and because of the numbers of black consumers they support those companies - it's a symbiotic relationship. An example is the importance of white farmers which is undeniable but they(farmers) also rely on black labour to keep those farms running.There isn't anyone who is less important...Unless you subscribe to the philosophy of "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others". Compliments of George Orwell's Animal Farm.

      Christopher - 2012-06-07 11:48

      @Sabongam..I am just talking on behalf of my race. I understand the symbiotic process that happens. I mean just my Household I employ 3 black people who with my salary I give them monthly...feeds, clothes and pays their rent each month and in turn they also putting into this country by supporting their local grocery stores etc...And I could not be able to do my job if I did not have them work and help me out everyday. Whats happening in South Africa is very worrying when the tax peoples money does not even get to the intended people of South Africa. It stops at the top...This makes me sick! There was a survey done with over 3000 children in matric(grade12) and standard 9(Grade 11) the question? What do you want to do after school?... 92 percent of the black kids said they want to work for the government, and then 96 percent of the white and Indian kids aid they want to start their own business! so in the long run white/Indian money is whats going to pull this country through, unless the black attitude changes we not going to get anywhere fast!

      Jacqui - 2012-06-07 14:32

      Peace, it's about time you flip your page. SANE people are the ones that fought to free this country. So thank you, but we have already seen what you black people do when something isn't to your liking. The dramatics outside a gallery and a court showed the whole world that you have not understand what democray is and your shenanigans, willl continue. We all know that as well. You may think you have a high horse to ride, but in fact you have nothing.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-07 14:36

      Peace, and before you tar me with your usual racist brush. I spend forty years in the struggle next to my 'other colour' brothers and sisters who are just as disgusted with this crap as I am.

  • daniel.motlhatlhedi - 2012-06-07 10:19

    leave the force since u had no idea about what you were doing.Bheki Cele aka SHAPE

  • Bradley - 2012-06-07 10:20

    another of the "spears" shields penetrated.another golden handshake, whatever you want to call it. when is zuma going to take responsibility and resign. Oh well, here's to the next stooge being forced unto us. what will his golden hanshake be called?

  • Piet - 2012-06-07 10:20

    The only way to clear the name of cele is to change it......

  • Johann - 2012-06-07 10:22

    ANC striving to be stupid again!!!!!!you are still in the Struggle.....struggeling to do your jobs right.

  • Mark - 2012-06-07 10:23

    Why do Bheki still want to fight back. He was caught with his hand in the cooky jar. What now needs to be done is he should be criminally held accountable and treated just like Jackie Selebi. Wasn't he the one who said that police should use their firearms against criminals?? Now the State use their resources against him and he can't stand the heat ??

  • Gavin - 2012-06-07 10:23

    being a f'ing stupid corrupt idiot - isn't grounds for an appeal. don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

      Thandekile Pokolo - 2012-06-07 10:30

      skelem naai

  • Johann - 2012-06-07 10:36

    ANC striving to be stupid again!!!!!!you are still in the Struggle.....struggeling to do your jobs right.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-07 14:34

      Johan the only thing they struggle with is constipation.

  • Mart - 2012-06-07 10:38

    Please don't let ZUMA appoint the next Police Commissioner....he has a dismal record appointing people to these very critical fact I will go as far as to say that he is woefully inept recognising right from wrong. AS far as Cele's 'fightback'....this is an injustice to the thinking people (90% of our population one would hope) of this country. I also believe that it is critically important that a smoke screen not be allowed to envelope any criminality that may have occurred during his tenure and that the book get thrown at him if this is suspected. Throw the book at his appointer as well if it is suspected he benefitted from this relationship (he has a High Court declared history of 'mutually beneficial relationships', has he not.

  • Victor - 2012-06-07 10:39


      Henk - 2012-06-07 10:41

      Why! It is their right to waste it !

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-06-07 10:43

    Seeing that he's been fired he should do all his "fighting back" from his own pocket!!

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-07 10:56

      danny...I agree...if that was the case ...most of these TOP BRASS...would rather go quietly..than waste their money on lawyers.

  • Clive - 2012-06-07 10:46

    Now, can we PLEASE have a career policeman with an impeccable record and proven ability to lead the police - there must surely be a few left. More than likely, however, we will get another inept, probably corrupt (or corruptible) ANC-deployed cadre who "has something" on the party's so-called leadership, so don't hold your breath anyone.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-07 14:37

      Clive, no you can't. Zuma only appoints friends.

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-07 10:54

    Just think of how many RDP homes could be built...or school classrooms sorted out ...or a huge improvement to a Hospital be done...with ALL this MONEY these people are wasting on court/lawyer costs....that's why the CCMA is more detrimental to this country than helpful..ALL these TOP BRASS are making use of it too...CCMA should only be for the lower income groups.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-07 14:38

      Sandra, the fat cats don't live in RDP houses. That's strictly for the voting fodder.

  • Burtfred - 2012-06-07 10:58

    Zuma should be booted out for appointing this "not fit to hold office and lacked capacity to execute his job" crokked cadre.

  • Phillip - 2012-06-07 11:00

    But why should Bheki Cwele and Major General Lieutenant Colonel Brigadier Field-Marshall Askari Richard Mdluli not fight back? They certainly have a case! When a court of law hands down a judgement, due cognizance is taken of the crucial import of a precedent being set. Jacob Zuma once faced a vast array of corruption allegations, far bigger than these two minnows could ever muster, and because a precedent that rules that if it could be said only, and not necessarily proved in court, that one may be the victim of 'political conspiracy', then one is automatically cleared of all charges. Clearly both these comrades are unashamedly under extreme political attack from all sides, from their own ANC cadres, to 'open-game' in parliament, itself. Politicians are calling for them to be removed, and to face justice for their crimes against the citizens of South Africa. So is this not a 'political conspiracy', therefore? Both have unequivocally so claimed, so why should the precedent that was set in the Jacob Zuma case, not apply to them? If the law can not call upon the precedents that are set in court, then the law is an ass, and is open to interpretation, and therefore selective application, always. So I would say let's get behind these boys in their fight, and perhaps in the process, we can have the original 'political conspiracy' precedent reversed, and thus begin the task of getting this country back on it's feet.

      Dee - 2012-06-07 11:21

      I take your point ... and have wondered instead about an amnesty + honourable discharge for all associated on the original poisoned trough of Arms Deal. Perhaps then appointments can be non-partisan, best person for the job, in the real interests of the Nation - instead of apparently building presidential praetorian guards.

      Jacqui - 2012-06-07 14:39

      Philip, then let them pay for their own court cases.

  • Sakhiwo - 2012-06-07 11:08

    This is very bad for the reputation of the country.These are top cops we are talking about here,respected by INTERPOLE

      Terence - 2012-06-07 11:26

      Interpol is manned by Profesional Police Personnel. I would hazard a guess that they gave up on SA when Selebe(their Chairman) got sent to Prison for dealing with International Gangsters. We have become the laughing stock of the Civilized World.

      Georgina - 2012-06-07 13:56

      We have not become the laughing stock of the world. The world has moved on and we're not being noticed anymore.

  • lucky.evans1 - 2012-06-07 11:17

    we still gonna fire and frie the main problem is Zuma he mst jst do us the favour and leave the office Mr president

  • lucky.evans1 - 2012-06-07 11:19

    bt beside the who lease drama, Cele his administration was good, he can lead the police, the man deserve the 2nd chance ...whats the fuse abt the lease

      mathoki - 2012-06-07 11:29

      So, having a police commissioner who is half corrupt is good?

      Johann - 2012-06-07 11:59

      Lucky are you pro corruption???

      Christopher - 2012-06-07 12:10

      lucky is dumb people...forget about him!

      Jacqui - 2012-06-07 14:40

      Lucky, so corruption is alright in your book then?.

  • mthabine.justice - 2012-06-07 11:28

    pitso must be his role model!

  • Pat - 2012-06-07 11:36

    i bet the next person in, will leave the same way!! its like sum kind of factory that pushes out all these rejected retards and puts them in high positions, they come in take as much as possible, get caught out, say they have been wronged, the story soon dissolves, and he carries on with all the money he just stole!! does anything even happen if they found guilty??? O south africa :/

  • rsetlhabetsi - 2012-06-07 11:36

    Some people will leave the article and talk about something else irrelevant to the article. This black this and white that f*#ks me. The worst matter it is being pushed by generation which it should be bring SA to equal citizenship. Black or White we are equal, PERIOD. F*%k land, nationalazation and all

      Jacqui - 2012-06-07 14:42

      Rsetlhabetsi, in corruption and brainless activities some are more equal than others. Thank goodness.

  • Eben - 2012-06-07 11:37

    @Peace you might think that this "battle" is race motivated but let me shed some light on your ill-informed ideology. This government feels nothing for you and corruption and mismanagement has nothing to do with vengeance on any particular race. Once they have stolen everything that currently is and finally caused irreparable damage to this country, both you and I will be left with nothing but the mess to clean up. Who will you be blaming then???. Your inability to accept the past is in the past and white people as much as black people has moved on, will impair badly on your ability to see the truth. Let me ask you this... How much of this new corrupt democracy have you enjoyed.... how much stolen money has been shared with you, the voter??.

  • khethani.nkabinde1 - 2012-06-07 11:42


  • dennis.vermaak.5 - 2012-06-07 11:43

    UNDER A CLOUD ??? The guilt is dripping off you PimpDaddy !!!

  • Gil - 2012-06-07 12:36

    dude must just take what he made from it all & run while he still can!

  • oom.kosie.9 - 2012-06-07 13:33

    Poor old Mac Maharaj, he has never heard anything, seen anything or know anything that anybody else already knows! If a manager keeps on employing useless, incompetent and corrupt people, it is not the fault of the people he appoints, but rather the manager himself. In this case Zuma is instrumental in all these appointments, which were all controversial from the start, therefore the real fool in this tale is skellum Mr JZ himself. Fool!

  • Jacqui - 2012-06-07 14:25

    Of course he will fight back. It only cost the tax payer money and in the meantime the general can live graciously on his fantastic income, also thanks to the tax payers.

  • Joseph - 2012-06-07 14:33

    The problem in South Africa is nobody accepts wrong doing even if caught red handed.They all claim they have done nothing wrong.This shows we dont have moral ethics and psychologically it is sickness.May be we are social deviants and need psychotherapy.You never know' may be' aparthied caused the paranoid.But everything is 'MAY BE'.

  • simphiwe.mantile - 2012-06-07 15:50

    what fight back he must just go home he has failed himself

  • Calvin Fhatuwani - 2012-06-07 18:02

    go home boy* u a rich what do u still want?

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