Cele must get the boot, not a golden handshake
Dianne Kohler Barnard, Shadow Minister of Police
11 June 2012
The Democratic Alliance (DA) unequivocally rejects any golden handshake for the disgraced National Police Commissioner, Bheki Cele, which would allow him to resign from his job and entitle him to benefits at the public expense despite his indiscretions.
A report this morning suggests that suspended National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele might be given a smooth exit from the police by President Zuma this week.
Cele is alleged to have told President Zuma that he would gladly vacate his top cop job if asked to, but would reject any attempts by the President to sack him on the basis of the findings of the Board of Inquiry, which recommended Cele be fired.
Anything short of a dishonourable expulsion from the South African Police Service (SAPS) would portray the President as weak on acting against crime and corruption, and even weaker on acting against ANC cronies.
Apart from the Board’s recommendations, the Public Protector’s findings that Cele acted unlawfully, improperly and was guilty of maladmistration is reason enough for the President to take a tough stance and give the man the boot.
Should the President waiver in his decision, the DA will gladly remind him of our submission to the Board earlier this year, which includes a further 13 reasons for Cele to be kicked out of the service and kept far away from it.
These reasons include:
- The acquisition of a R4 million residence and luxury furnishings for Cele, which he signed off for himself as accounting officer;
- The increase of irregular expenditure by the SAPS from R2.5 million to R76 million for the 2010 / 2011 financial year;
- The fact that Cele only signed off on the two National Police Days for 2010 and 2011 weeks before the events, avoiding proper tendering procedures;
- The irregular expenditure of R13.6 million on the 2010 National Police Day, as well as the expenditure of R12 million on performing artists for the event;
- The alleged abuse and spurious use of pension payouts for SAPS members under section 35 of the SAPS Act, which amounts to R31.2 million in the last two years;
- The questionable arrest of Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika following his denouncement by Cele after the exposé of the lease deal scandal; and
- The raid on the offices of the Public Protector in February 2011 following the publication of the report into the lease deal scandal and Cele’s chastisement of the Public Protector.
I will also be submitting questions to the Minister of Police to establish whether he has complied with the recommendations of the Public Protector report in relation to Cele. Adv. Thuli Madonsela suggested that urgent steps be taken to ensure that the appropriate action is instituted against the appropriate SAPS officials who acted in contravention of the law, policy and other prescripts in respect of the procurement processes.
The South African public deserves to know that this government acts against individuals found guilty of unlawful and improper conduct. It is imperative that the President act swiftly and decisively by firing Bheki Cele as National Police Commissioner once and for all. Allowing Cele to get off free would be criminal.