Witness Reporter
2 minute read
25 May 2012

Spokesperson criticises board’s ‘wild fishing expedition to nail Cele’

Witness Reporter

SUSPENDED national police commissioner Bheki Cele is spitting mad....

SUSPENDED national police commissioner Bheki Cele is spitting mad.

Not only has the board of inquiry into his fitness to hold office recommended that he be fired, but it has also left a cloud hanging over his head over allegations of corruption.

While the board said that on the evidence before it, it could not be proved Cele had acted corruptly, it then proceeded to blame this on its lack of powers to subpoena witnesses or conduct searches and seizures.

The board said this meant that Cele’s relationship with Shabangu, as well as Cele’s relationship with some members of the police and Shabangu’s links with officials of the Public Works Department, could not be explored or inquired into.

It has therefore recommended that these relationships “be referred to competent authorities for further investigation”.

Responding to questions from The Witness, Cele’s spokesperson, Vuyo Mkhize, said that before the board began its work, it petitioned President Jacob Zuma to amend its terms of reference “to include a catalogue of administrative decisions taken by General Cele during his tenure”.

“The president, rightly so, turned down this request to turn the work of the board into a wild fishing expedition aimed at seeking to find some or other transgression to nail General Cele on at what-ever cost.”

Mkhize said the board’s reservations about not having the full powers it required “to prove its unwarranted and defamatory charge of corruption against General Cele” raised several questions.

“Why did it not raise this issue with President Zuma when it tabled its cynical request for an amendment of its terms of reference midway through its mandate?

“The decision to refer this matter for further investigation is nothing but a cynical ploy to ensure that its primary objective that has characterised its conduct of this inquiry – impugning General Cele’s integrity without putting up any justifiable basis for doing so – Turn to page 4