Cele BoI set for next month

2084

The long-awaited Board of Inquiry into allegations of misconduct against National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele will start on February 13. Judge Jake Moloi, who will be chairing the hearing, says they had been busy with “logistical preparations” for the inquiry since being appointed by President Jacob Zuma in October last year.

Zuma appointed the board after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had found Cele’s role in renting new police headquarters in Pretoria and Durban to be “improper and unlawful”. The inquiry is expected to finalise its work within two years. Zuma suspended Cele, with full pay, until the finalisation of the inquiry into the R1.78 million lease deals, which is also the subject of a High Court bid by the department of public works to have it nullified.
“We have been busy with preparations and many logistical issues that we had to take into account. But we are now ready to start working on February 13,” said Moloi, a Free State High Court judge.
“The Board has since its appointment been undertaking preparations including finding offices, appointing staff and undertaking legal preparations,” presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement. “They have finalised the preparations and it is expected that public hearings will begin next month. Details regarding public hearings [to be held in Pretoria] will be communicated at a later stage.”

The board comprises Moloi, Advocate (Adv) Terry Motau SC and Adv Anthea Platt. Adv Lisa Tsatsi has been appointed as the Secretary of the Board.

Business Day added the South African Police Service Act, which guides the hiring and firing of police commissioners, allows the establishment of a board of inquiry when there has been a breakdown in the relationship between the Cabinet and the administrative head of the police. Firing Gen Cele on the basis of the public protector’s findings could have led to a legal challeng