Police Minister Bheki Cele has defended his recent meeting with former President Jacob Zuma, saying it was necessary considering the current developments in the country. This after ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule said he neither knew in what capacity Cele visited Zuma nor what they discussed a few days ago.
Cele visited Zuma at his residence in Nkandla, northern KwaZulu-Natal after the former President refused to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture despite a Constitutional Court judgment compelling him to do so.
Police Minister Bheki Cele visits former President Jacob Zuma:
Zuma demanded the commission chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, recuse himself before he could appear.
Questions are being asked about Cele’s meeting with Zuma, with some people wondering whether he represented government or the ANC.
However, Cele says he cannot split himself between being a Minister and an ANC National Executive Committee member, adding that it was important to find out Zuma’s concerns.
“So it was on that score that we needed to speak to the former President to hear his concerns and see how to take them forward, both as a responsible citizen of the country and to use our responsibility that if things can be prevented, it’s better than reacting after those things have happened.”
DA to lodge complaint
Meanwhile, the DA’s Chief Whip in Parliament Natasha Mazzone says they will lodge a complaint with the Ethics Committee against Cele.
She says there is a clear conflict of interest and this underlines the ANC’s disregard for the need to separate the party and the state.
“Why did he arrive at Nkandla with the police convoy paid for by the taxpayer? If public funds were involved in this meeting, the money must be reimbursed and the details of the meeting must be made public. The continued abuse of public money for the ANC’s internal squabbles must come to an end.”
MKMVA won’t stop Top 6 visit to Nkandla
The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association MKMVA says it will not stop the ANC top six from visiting Zuma at his residence in Nkandla.
Former president Jacob Zuma to meet ANC top six:
However, the MKMVA has vowed to prevent any law enforcement agency from arresting Zuma.
MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe says they will continue to camp outside Zuma’s residence to prevent authorities from arresting him.
“There is no way that the other cars will pass, so we will just sit there at the gate. It will be up to the police or the Defence Force to decide what they want to do, but ours will be to sit there.”