The Democratic Alliance says suspended police commissioner Bheki Cele should not be allowed to resign from his job, but should be fired.
“Anything short of a dishonourable expulsion ... would portray the president [Jacob Zuma] as weak on acting against crime and corruption and even weaker on acting against ANC cronies,” Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said in a statement.
“The public protector’s finding 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,” she said.
Earlier, Cele’s spokesperson Vuyo Mkhize said Cele would leave his position if Zuma asked him to.
If Zuma used the findings of a report by a board of inquiry chaired by Justice Jake Moloi, then Cele would challenge these in court.
The board of inquiry was mandated to establish whether Cele acted corruptly, dishonestly, or with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to two police lease deals signed with business tycoon Roux Shabangu – one for a building in Pretoria, another for a building in Durban.
Mkhize said Cele was “fed up” because he felt Moloi’s findings were not legally valid.
The inquiry, which has submitted its report to Zuma, reportedly found that Cele lacked the capacity to execute his official duties efficiently and was not fit to hold office.
It also apparently found that his grave misconduct as national police commissioner and his apparent unlawful conduct further proved that he was unable to hold office.
Evidence reportedly also suggested there was a questionable relationship between Cele and Shabangu.
Cele is still waiting to hear whether he has been fired.
Zuma’s spokesperson Mac Maharaj said on Monday there was no indication when Zuma would make an announcement on Cele’s fate.
Kohler-Barnard said she would submit questions to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on whether he had complied with the recommendations of public protector Thuli Madonsela.
“The South African public deserves to know that this government acts against individuals found guilty of unlawful and improper conduct,” she said.
“It is imperative that the president act swiftly and decisively by firing Bheki Cele.”
Last year, Madonsela found that Cele’s involvement in deals to acquire police office space was “improper, unlawful, and amounted to maladministration”.
She said that while Cele had not signed the final lease, he had initiated negotiations with Shabangu, and had seemed determined to secure the leases despite warnings against them. – Sapa