‘We’re not friends’ – Cele explains ‘fallout’ with Sitole

He has conceded that there are sometimes glitches with Sitole, but says it is nothing personal.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has broken his silence about his relationship with the National Commissioner of police, Khehla Sitole.

Cele said that he and Sitole had no relationship outside work and reiterated that they do not have to have one.

He was speaking to eNCA’s Masego Rahlaga on Friday.

“We don’t have to be friends,” said Cele when asked about it.

“We do not have to do coffee or drink wine together. We do work together with the National Commissioner.”

Cele went on to concede that there are sometimes glitches with Sitole but explained it as nothing personal.

“You would know, as you do your work, you do not always see eye to eye, there are things I would raise and he would explain.”

“Working relationship is fine, what we do not have is a social relationship which we do not need for us to work together,” explained Cele.

Cele and Sitole’s relationship came into the spotlight when some MPs blamed instability in the police service on political interference in appointments and the rocky relationship between the minister and the commissioner.

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Thereafter, it was widely reported in the media that Cele and Sitole had a fallout.

Cele was was widely accused of meddling in operational matters after he allegedly sent a scathing letter to the “irresponsible” Sitole following appointments of senior managers at the South African Police Service (Saps).

Back in February, Cele recommended to President Cyril Ramaphosa that he institute an inquiry into Sitole’s fitness for office.