Citizen reporter
2 minute read
18 May 2020
9:03 am

Cele accused of breaking lockdown rules by visiting Nzimande’s KZN home

Citizen reporter

Cele apparently admits visiting the minister's home for business reasons, but also says Nzimande was not around at the time.

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

News24 reports they spotted Police Minister Bheki Cele paying a possible personal visit to the KwaZulu-Natal home of Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande last Monday.

They say Cele has repeatedly denied the claims he made a personal visit to the home.

On that day, the media had waited for more than an hour at a local police station after receiving an invitation to observe Cele go about his business in Pietermaritzburg, where there had been concerns of poor compliance with Level 4 lockdown regulations.

The media were then asked to wait for Cele’s arrival at Kwamabulala Mall.

According to reporter Kaveel Singh: “While there, however, News24 and a handful of other media saw the minister’s convoy scurry past the mall. They followed the convoy, only to arrive at Nzimande’s home, where Cele was warmly embraced.

“After the brief visit, Cele walked back to his convoy and News24 seized the opportunity to ask the minister what the purpose of his visit was. But the usually camera-friendly Cele was silent.”

Later in the week, Cele explained the purpose of the visit to News24:

He reportedly responded: “I was working in the area and had a few houses, dealing with the issue of Covid-19, and Blade’s home was one of those houses.”

Apparently, Blade Nzimande was not at home at the time of the visit.

“I would have loved to have visited him (Nzimande). If he was just not in Pretoria, I would have visited him. But he was in Pretoria. How could I go to Dambuza and visit Blade when he is in Pretoria? The answer is simple, I did not visit Blade,” Cele is reported to have said.

According to News24, Nzimande’s spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi also denied the visit was of a personal nature.

Mnisi said the minister was “aware that minister Cele was on a walkabout in Pietermaritzburg and passed at minister Nzimande’s parental house after visiting numerous houses in the area to monitor compliance of the lockdown regulations”.

“Minister Nzimande has no problem about the visit because Minister Cele was performing his responsibilities in the area and many other places,” Mnisi said.

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