Zuma: Cele is relieved of his duties

President Jacob Zuma has fired Bheki Cele as national police commissioner.

President Jacob Zuma has fired Bheki Cele as national police commissioner.

General Bheki Cele has been dismissed as national police chief, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

“I have decided to release General Cele from his duties,” Zuma told reporters in Pretoria during a Cabinet reshuffle.

The new national police commissioner is Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega, Zuma said.

“It is my pleasure to announce the new national police commissioner today who takes office with immediate effect.

“She is Ms Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega, who is currently the chairperson of the presidential review committee on state owned enterprises and the deputy chairperson of the Independent Commission on the Remuneration of Office Bearers,” he told reporters in Pretoria.

In his press briefing, Zuma also announced a Cabinet reshuffle.

  • Public service and administration Minister: Lindiwe Sisulu.
  • Defence minister: Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula.
  • Transport minister: Ben Martins.
  • Correctional services minister: Sibusiso Ndebele.
  • Deputy transport minister: Sindisiwe Chikunga.
  • Deputy public enterprises minister: Gratitude Magwanishe.
  • Deputy public works minister: Jeremy Cronin
  • Deputy economic development minister: Hlengiwe Mkhize.
  • Deputy higher education minister: Mduduzi Manana.

Cele was suspended from duty in October, as a result of the scandal around multi-billion rand leasing deals for buildings concluded under his watch.

His sacking comes as little surprise; it emerged three weeks ago that a three-person board of inquiry established by Zuma to consider Cele’s fitness to hold office had unanimously recommended that he be fired.

Cele was given only days to respond to the recommendation, apparently because Zuma was eager to conclude the matter.

However, senior police sources said plans to remove Cele had already been put into motion before the inquiry had been completed.

At the time, Cele promised to fight the finding that he had acted dishonestly.

Last week, the City Press reported Bheki Cele had become the second consecutive police chief to have been fired by President Jacob Zuma. - Additional reporting by Sapa



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