Zuma meets Cele for 'private' discussion
President Jacob Zuma’s discussion with suspended national police commissioner Bheki Cele would remain confidential, his office said on Sunday.
Zuma had asked to see Cele and the two met on Friday in Durban, said Zuma’s spokesperson Mac Maharaj.
“The president had called the meeting with the national commissioner to discuss the report of the board of inquiry chaired by Justice Jake Moloi,” Maharaj said in a statement.
Moloi’s report recommended Cele be fired.
“The content of the discussions remains confidential,” said Maharaj.
“The president will announce his decision as soon as he has completed all necessary processes.”
Cele’s spokesperson Vuyo Mkhize confirmed the meeting on Saturday.
“I can confirm that President Zuma met with General Cele on Friday as scheduled by a meeting request from Cele earlier,” he said.
“I am not at liberty to go into the discussions of the meeting that took place or why the meeting was scheduled.”
Mkhize said Cele wrote to Zuma on May 27 to request a meeting and Zuma responded on June 6.
The Sunday Times reported that Zuma’s letter informing Cele that he was fired was delivered to Cele’s house in Durban on Tuesday.
Media reports on Thursday said Cele had in fact been fired. Maharaj refused to comment on “rumours”.
Last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Cele’s involvement in deals to acquire police office space was “improper, unlawful and amounted to maladministration”.
Madonsela concluded that while Cele had not signed the final lease, he had initiated negotiations with property tycoon Roux Shabangu and had seemed determined to secure the leases despite warnings against them.
Her finding prompted a board of inquiry into Cele’s conduct.
It 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 Shabangu, one for a building in Pretoria, another for a building in Durban worth R1.6-billion. – Staff reporter and Sapa.