Opposition parties call for Cele’s axing

If Police Commissioner Bheki Cele refuses to resign then President Jacob Zuma must fire him, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Tuesday.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said Cele had acted of improperly was accused of maladministration when the police authorised a R500-million lease for the Sanlam Middestad Building in Pretoria.

“President Zuma repeatedly states his commitment to rooting out corruption and his drive to curb maladministration. If Commissioner Cele refuses to leave, then it is now for President Zuma to turn his words into action,” DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said in a statement.

“When news of this investigation was first reported, the DA insisted that Commissioner Cele should resign if there was an adverse finding.”

When Cele was first appointed as national commissioner the DA had objected saying he was unfit for the position. Now the public protector was saying he was unfit for office, she said.

“We have already seen the indignity caused to our justice system by a police commissioner who disobeys the law … South Africa cannot afford another [Jackie] Selebi.”

‘Complete transparency’
Madonsela at a press briefing on Tuesday said Cele’s conduct breached the constitution, the Public Finance Management Act, Treasury regulations and supply chain management rules and policies.

Cele was required by his position to “ensure that goods and services are procured in accordance with a system that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective”, she said.

Kohler Barnard said it was not acceptable that disciplinary action for officials involved with the lease took place behind closed doors with no consequences.

“The public cannot be happy with assurances that disciplinary measures were taken while the guilty officials continue in high-level government positions. We need complete transparency,” she said,

This was the ideal opportunity for Madonsela to call for further investigation and remedial action should be taken up by the relevant authorities.

The Freedom Front Plus
The national police commissioner and the minister of public works should be fired, the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) said on Tuesday.

“It is clear from the report of the Public Protector that the tender procedures were not followed correctly, that various laws were contravened and that there is not a need for the renting of the Sanlam Middestad Building for R500-million over a period of ten years,” said spokesperson Pieter Groenewald.

Madonsela found the lease between the Department of Public Works and property tycoon Roux Shabangu’s Roux Property Fund to be invalid and in her report she had requested that the National Treasury should review the lease to see what steps could be taken to terminate the lease.

“If President Zuma is serious about his comments that corruption should be eradicated, he should fire both the Commissioner and the Minister [Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde] because he appointed both,” Groenewald said.

“If he does not do it he makes a mockery of clean administration and promotes corruption”.

Groenewald said the FF+ would consider laying criminal charges against Cele and Mahlangu-Nkabinde. — Sapa

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