Bheki Cele

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The Honourable
Bheki Cele
Bheki Cele at press conference on crime at World Cup 2010-06-29 1.jpg
Cele at a press conference in June 2010
Minister of Police
Assumed office
26 February 2018
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Preceded by Fikile Mbalula
National Commissioner of the South African Police Service
In office
Preceded by Jackie Selebi
Succeeded by Riah Phiyega
Personal details
Born (1952-04-22) 22 April 1952 (age 66)

Bhekokwakhe "Bheki" Hamilton Cele (born 22 April 1952) is the Minister of the Police, since 26 February 2018 and was the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service until October 2011, when he was suspended from duty, due to allegations of corruption.[1] He was appointed to this position in July 2009, replacing Jackie Selebi, who was suspended in January 2008 following charges of corruption. Previously he held the post of Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Transport, Safety and Security in KwaZulu-Natal.[2] He is a member of the African National Congress.

General Bheki Cele was dismissed as national police chief in June, 2012. "I have decided to release General Cele from his duties," Zuma told reporters in Pretoria.[3]

He referred to the board of inquiry mandated to establish whether Cele acted corruptly, dishonestly, or with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to two police lease deals signed with business tycoon Roux Shabangu—one for a building in Pretoria, another for a building in Durban.

"The board has found General Cele to be unfit for office and has recommended his removal from office in terms of the provisions of section 8(6)(b)(v) of the South African Police Service Act No. 68 of 1995," said Zuma.

Despite this, in November 2013, he was placed on the ANC's list of preferred candidates to go to parliament.[4]

In January 2014, he attempted to delay the South African Public Protector's report on wasteful expenditure at Nkandla - President Jacob Zuma’s private homestead.[5]

Cele was appointed as the Police Minister by newly-appointed President Cyril Ramaphosa, during his cabinet reshuffle at the end of February 2018.[6]

Corrupt administration of Taxpayer money[edit]

Bheki Cele is under investigation, as evidence shows R1.7 billion rand spent on building leases were unlawful, improper and constituted maladministration.[7] Though suspended, South African taxpayers spend at least R1.3-million a year on his salary.[8]

Conflict with Inkatha Freedom Party[edit]

In April 2009 he drew criticism for comments made at a rally in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, about the Inkatha Freedom Party, and its leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The remarks, insinuating IFP propagation of illicit weaponry, were made against a background of political tension and violence in the Natal province.[9]

2009 NEHAWU strike[edit]

Cele also played a role in the suspension of a three-day strike of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) over the failure to address their concerns regarding KwaZulu-Natal department of transport official Chris Hlabisa. According to Nehawu's Vusi Gama, they suspended the strike, which had been organised to call for Hlabisa's sacking, after asking for a meeting with Cele.[10]

Comments to SAPS[edit]

In September 2010, Cele made comments regarding the SAPS, telling them to "shape up or ship out",[11] and saying "when you walk down the street, people must envy your body." One of his comments, "Stomach in, chest out",[12] has become viral in South Africa and has inspired several techno remixes using audio from his speech.[13]

See also[edit]

Siphiwe Mvuyane


  1. ^ "Bheki Cele suspended over lease saga". News24. October 2011. 
  2. ^ "MEC for Transport, Safety and Security, Mr Bheki Cele". KZN Transport. June 2004. 
  3. ^ "Bheki Cele fired". News 24. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  4. ^ "Cele tops KZN ANC parliament list". Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Cele could delay Madonsela report on Nkandla splurge". Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "News24 Live Feed". News 24. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  7. ^ "Cele 'fingerprints' all over KZN lease". Mail & Guardian. 24 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Suspended Cele earns R1.3m". Mail & Guardian. 20 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "IFP Press Statement: "Cele's Comments Typifies an Irresponsible KZN ANC"". Inkatha Freedom Party. 9 April 2009. 
  10. ^ Memela, Mhlaba (8 April 2009). "Nehawu strike off". The Sowetan. Archived from the original on 9 August 2009. 
  11. ^
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Preceded by
Jackie Selebi
National Commissioner of the South African Police Service
Succeeded by
Major-General Nhlanhla Sibusiso Mkhwanazi