Disgraced former National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele must have his day in court to answer for the numerous findings against him by both the Moloi Police Board of Inquiry and the Public Protector.
A report in the Sunday Tribune this morning indicating that it is unlikely that Cele will face a criminal investigation is unacceptable.
The DA will be seeking a commitment from Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to this end or we will take the matter up ourselves.
The DA is of the view that the evidence gathered and investigations conducted by both the Moloi Police Board of Inquiry and the Public Protector is sufficient for instituting criminal charges against Bheki Cele.
The Moloi Police Board of Inquiry recommended that criminal charges be considered and reportedly found that Cele:
- Guilty of gross misconduct regarding the procurement of the Sanlam Middestad and Transnet buildings in Pretoria and Durban;
- Favoured buildings owned by property mogul Roux Shabangu;
- Caused procurement processes of the SAPS supply chain management to be manipulated by Shabangu;
- Failed to appreciate the nature and importance of responsibilities attached to his position;
- Failed to appreciate the importance and consequences of the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act.
This is in addition to the Public Protector's findings that Cele's conduct in the police lease deal scandal was improper, unlawful and amounted to maladministration.
President Zuma did the right thing by not allowing a smooth exit for politically connected Cele and giving him the boot instead.
This must now be followed through by government. Anything less than a criminal investigation into the Bheki Cele saga will draw into question government's commitment to fighting crime and corruption and reveal different standards for ANC cronies.
Dianne Kohler Barnard, Shadow Minister of Police