ANC member and Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus has accused police Minister Bheki Cele of abusing his power and using his position to try to intimidate him.
This allegedly occurred at the funeral of former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Vusi Zuma.
Speaking to DRUM, Niehaus explained he was sitting in the VIP section at the funeral – at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg – when Cele approached Niehaus in an aggressive manner.
“He told me I must not refer to him in the media,” Niehaus said. “After I asked him to please calm down, I told him to respect the fact that he’s at the funeral of the son of former president Jacob Zuma. To respect the departed and also to respect the Zuma family.”
Niehaus said that even when they were outside the church, “some of the mourners confronted the minister and he behaved in quiet an arrogant way towards them too.”
“He refused to apologise. I went up to him and for the third time, extended my hand and said, ‘Look, if you have a problem with anything concerning me, can we keep it away from the funeral, can we meet somewhere else? I’m happy to discuss it with you’.”
Niehaus said the minster refused to take his hand and that Cele also said he wasn’t interested in meeting Niehaus anywhere else.
Spokesperson to the minister of police, Reneilwe Serero, told DRUM the minister knew nothing about the incident. “It’s not true, the minister is not aware of any accusation of intimidation.”
Niehaus has subsequently reported the minster by sending a letter of complaint about his conduct to the head of the disciplinary committee of the ANC’s national executive committee. He added that he would have preferred comrade Bheki Cele had approached him “in a civilised manner” if he had any problem with him, arrange a meeting to sit down as comrades and talk things out.