Public Protector launches investigation into Bheki Cele’s World Cup jaunt

Issued by Okkie Terblanche MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Police
18 Jan 2024 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Okkie Terblanche MP.

At the end of last year, the DA revealed that the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and his assistant travelled to Paris to attend the Rugby World Cup. The Minister was funded by an as-yet unidentified “private company”, and his assistant was financed by the South African taxpayer who, despite a police budget already stretched to breaking point, sponsored Minister Cele’s assistant’s trip to the tune of R446 339.43.

We can now confirm that the Public Protector has officially informed the DA that her office will be investigating this matter further and that a senior investigator has been appointed to take the lead in the investigation.

As the DA has said many times before, not only was the trip itself clearly unrelated to the Minister’s official functions, but by dipping into the public purse to finance his assistant’s European getaway, the Minister has breached the provisions of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act 82 of 1998 and the Executive Ethics Code.

The DA’s original complaint detailed the Minister’s responses to several parliamentary questions which laid bare these expenditures and informed the Office of the Public Protector that the DA believes the Minister to be in breach of his duties and obligations set out in the Executive Ethics Code.

We trust that the Public Protector’s investigation will be conducted with vigour, that it will bear fruit, and that the Minister will be held accountable for his actions. The DA will also lodge an official ethics complaint with Parliament, given that Minister Cele’s actions are in breach of his obligations and duties of care as provided for in the Code of Conduct applicable to MPs.

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