The High Court has set aside then President Jacob Zuma’s decision to fire Bheki Cele, who was the national police commissioner at the time.
Through his spokesperson Reneilwe Serero, Minister of Police Bheki Cele said he felt vindicated by the Gauteng High Court’s decision on Tuesday, 9 April 2019, to set aside the decision to fire him.
In 2012, then President Jacob Zuma announced that he had decided to release Cele from his duties as then national police commissioner after considering a report of the board of inquiry into Cele’s actions relating to lease deals.
The board of inquiry sought to establish whether Cele had entered into corrupt, dishonest and undeclared conflict of interest deals when he signed two police leases with businessman Roux Shabangu. One lease was for a building in Pretoria, the other for a building in Durban. In 2012, the board of inquiry found Cele’s actions on the leases questionable. They found that he had had an undeclared conflict of interest and was dishonest in dealing with the leases.
“General Cele has over the years always maintained that the board’s specific findings, conclusions and recommendations, holding that he was, in relation to the procurement of building leases for the housing of the South African Police Services was ‘dishonest’, ‘in conflict of interest’ and ‘in breach of Section 38 of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999’, were irrational, biased, lacked credence and defied logic,”
“The decision to discharge and release him of his duties as the national commissioner of police was also invalid and of no force and effect on the same reasons he advanced against the board findings and recommendations,” Serero said.