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Cele dismissal fight to continue

Johannesburg - Newly appointed Deputy Agriculture Minister Bheki Cele will pursue his court wrangle over his axing as police commissioner despite his new job, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

“It makes no difference whether Cele is appointed deputy minister, the president, or even the pope, because the action he has launched in court is not an attempt to get this job or that job,” Vuyo Mkhize told Sapa.

Bheki Cele is the deputy minister of agriculture. Credit: GCIS

“It's simply an attempt to clear his name of the unjustified aspersion on his character and his reputation that was made by that board of inquiry.”

Cele is contesting the findings of the report used to fire him from his job as national police commissioner, written by a board of inquiry led by retired judge Jake Moloi.

The court application was launched in July 2012 against President Jacob Zuma and five others.

The board was mandated by Zuma to establish whether Cele had acted corruptly, dishonestly, or with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to two police lease deals he signed with businessman Roux Shabangu.

Mkhize said the former commissioner wanted the report declared invalid and the recommendations declared irrational and invalid.

Moloi and the other board members have declined to oppose Cele's bid and said they would abide by the court's decision.

Mkhize said Cele's application could be granted because no one was opposing it.

“It is difficult to imagine how the court will say the report is sound, and the recommendations are not irrational, like Cele is saying, when the court is not hearing anything which is helping it arrive at that conclusion,” he said.

“For all intents and purposes Cele has already won, he has achieved what he wanted to achieve. The president is not qualified to defend the validity of the report, he cannot have an opinion of the report and defend it against Cele's attack.”

Mkhize said Cele was not looking for any type of compensation, it was a matter of principle.

Sapa

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