25 March 2023 | 01:52 PM

Dear Mr Cele, you’re fired

Key Takeaways

The Mail & Guardian understands that embattled police commissioner General Bheki Cele received his marching orders from President Jacob Zuma in a letter on Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, the M&G reported that the inquiry’s report into Cele’s fitness to hold office recommended that he be sacked.

Zuma received the report from the three-person board of inquiry — which he set up last year to consider Cele’s role in the police leasing scandal — in mid-May.

The board was asked to consider “whether the national commissioner acted corruptly or dishonestly or with undeclared conflict of interest”.

The board found that: “The evidence demonstrated that the national commissioner favoured the buildings owned by [property mogul Roux] Shabangu and that he, together with Shabangu, pushed for the entire buildings in both Pretoria and Durban to be leased by the SAPS, even when the needs analysis showed that a lesser amount of ­lettable space was required.”

Cele has indicated that, in the event that he is dismissed based on the recommendations of the inquiry, he will file an application in the high court for a review of the inquiry’s findings.

The presidency did not respond to questions on Cele by the time of going to print.

The M&G reported two weeks ago that the rumoured frontrunner to take over from Cele is KwaZulu-Natal stalwart and department of labour director general Nathi Nhleko.

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The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, supported by M&G Media and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, produced this story. All views are ours. See our funding sources here: www.amabhungane.co.za/page/sponsors.

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Aisha Abdool Karim

Aisha is a freelance science and health reporter. She is joining the amaB team to work on a project about water and sanitation. Aisha’s passion for long-form narrative and investigative journalism was sparked while doing her master’s degree at Columbia University in New York. After graduating in 2018, she returned to South Africa and began working as a general beat reporter for the Daily Maverick. Aisha joined the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism in 2020 to focus on science reporting. During her time there, she covered the COVID-19 pandemic extensively — from fact-checking harmful medical misinformation to unpacking the science behind vaccine development. Aisha’s special interests include analysing health systems and in-depth coverage of public health issues and infectious diseases. She also loves spreadsheets and digging through data.

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